Special Feature: Healthcare and Electronics

Sensor Networks Will Transform Healthcare as We Know It

metamorphosis No.15

Why is Healthcare So Important Now?

Managing our own health in this age of “self care”

As population ageing advances in Japan and other developed nations, more people are suffering from chronic illness and disease. Improvements in transportation and other factors have caused us to become less physically active, and there is growing concern about obesity and metabolic disorders. As we focus on maintaining – and improving – our health, the concept of healthcare is more important to us than ever. At the same time, we are experiencing a shortage of doctors, nurses and other qualified medical professionals around the world. There are longer waiting times at medical facilities, and the burden placed on those responsible for our medical care continues to mount. In the midst of these realities, more people are turning to the idea of “self care” to maintain their health, and we are seeing a new willingness among people to assume responsibility for managing their own healthcare.

How Should We Prepare Ourselves for the Future?


60-80% of the global population fails to get sufficient exercise

As civilization has grown more advanced, humanity has become less physically active. This lack of exercise has resulted in weight gain, and there has been an increase in chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. We are already in possession of the tools that can help us to improve and maintain our health, but our challenge lies in finding how we can take advantage of these tools to make better health a reality.


60-80% of the global population fails to get sufficient exercise

There are 860 million people around the world who live with a chronic health condition, and this number is increasing at an astonishing rate. By the year 2020, it is predicted that chronic disease will account for approximately three-fourths of all deaths around the globe. If we can make it easier for patients, families and caregivers to manage these chronic conditions, it should be possible for us to live healthier lives and reduce our healthcare costs. What can be done to make this happen?


The global population of people aged 60 and over is projected to reach 1 billion by 2025

After reaching 1 billion in 2025, the population of people aged 60 and over is expected to again double by the year 2050. Population ageing is already widespread in developed countries, and is soon expected to be seen in developing countries with rapid population growth. Will it be possible for all of us to live lives that are safe, stable and comfortable? In the face of the challenges posed by a globally ageing population, what should we be doing?


We are facing decreasing numbers of qualified medical professionals

In its 2006 World Health Report, the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed a global shortage of 4.3 million doctors, midwives, nurses and other health workers, with no prospect for improvement in sight. With this deficit of healthcare professionals, how can we continue to provide essential medical and social services?

Reference material: Continua Health Alliance Overview Brochure