Despite a sharp increase in Japan’s telehealth consultations at the start of the COVID19 pandemic, the East Asian country had already begun prioritising telehealth technology as far back as 2015 as a first step in reviewing policies that were a hindrance. Telehealth and remote monitoring are not new concepts. Advocates for telehealth have long touted it as having the potential to transform healthcare for the better, not least with the increased patient satisfaction and improved health outcomes that it brings. Today Japan is best positioned to adopt and make the most of telehealth. The country has an aging population of which 28% is above the age of 65 and the younger population is constantly on the move with limited time to make physical medical consultation.
A vision for a seamless telehealth user experience
Due to the pressures of work requiring its population to be constantly busy, Japan has often been described as a chronically sleep-deprived nation. A healthcare chain in Tokyo approached us to help solve this modern-day problem of “lack of time”. Where patients often needed to visit the clinic to have a 10-15 minute consultation and get a prescription, they didn’t turn up.
The medical partner had an idea to build a fully customisable system that allowed patients to have medical appointments via video call and receive treatment immediately. For this to be successful, they wanted to ensure that the user experience was of the highest standard never experienced before.
Technology development with the client and end-user in mind
Due to regulatory and ethical constraints, this project provided a unique challenge. Developing a custom solution that is seamless and mimics a doctor’s visit as much as possible, meant going outside the usual technology and innovation parameters. From the onset, there was cross functional collaboration with medical, legal, and business development teams of the client organisation. The end product development was a system that supported both doctors and patients alike. Key to the solution was its capability to save time without compromising on quality healthcare. A scheduling, notification and full medical records systems were developed and followed by the integration with a separate booking and scheduling system used within the healthcare group. Currently in the pipeline is the development of a patient-centered solution for remote medical care and monitoring.