Citizens of Seki City in Gifu Prefecture, Japan, to utilize Apple Watches for healthcare
Seki City will introduce an innovative remote health care system using the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch in a nationwide first for municipalities in Japan.
Japan as a whole has an aging society, and reform of the healthcare sector is an urgent task. The importance of early detection of health risks, prevention, and health management is rapidly increasing. In Gifu prefecture’s Seki City, a remote health management system using the iPhone is being introduced, targeted at those who require health guidance resulting from their health checkups conducted by the city. The system will be a nationwide first for Japanese municipalities.
In previous health guidance programs, people have measured their health data on a daily basis through their own devices (such as scales or a blood pressure monitor), and recorded the data in a paper notebook. Not surprisingly, low rates of implementation and adherence were major issues.
The new system utilizes the application “The Diary”, which leverages the “CareKit” framework which Apple released in March 2016. The user need only carry an iPhone and Apple Watch, plus additional measuring instruments if desired, and can automatically capture and record daily health data such as step count, pulse rate, weight, and blood pressure on an iPhone. In addition, this data can be shared with public health nurses from health centers, who can confirm the data readings on their iPad. Public health nurses do not therefore have to wait for people to visit, nor contact the user to ask for the information. Citizens’ health data can be monitored in real time so they can be contacted from the health center if necessary.
To initiate this service, Seki City will lend an Apple Watch to up to 20 people who already own an iPhone and want health guidance by using this service for a period of 3-6 months. Using an Apple Watch to easily record everyday health data will not only improve the rates of implementation and adherence for health guidance, but also encourage the lifetime collection of health and medical information by the subjects themselves.
Each citizen can learn about his or her health and body while receiving expert support, utilizing devices familiar to them. A big aim of this project is to raise awareness and concern for one’s own health and encourage self management.
This project is scheduled to begin at the end of July, 2017. Participants will be notified of the details beforehand by the city’s public relations.