A Digital Revolution in Healthcare
On April 22nd, the Japan Society of Northern California and US-Japan MedTech Frontiers collaborated once more in presenting their annual US-Japan Healthcare Connection MedTech Conference. This year’s program was titled “The Coming Revolution in Healthcare” and showcased the latest developments underlying the transformation of healthcare services through the means of digital delivery, with a particular focus on “Hospitals at Home” and remote patient monitoring. Five esteemed guests gave lectures via Zoom, covering an array of fascinating and timely subjects. Thanks to a generous sponsorship from Wordly, the conference was hosted in English and simultaneously translated in real-time to Japanese, enabling all attendees to participate and engage regardless of nationality.
The relevancy of this topic could not be overstated. In 2020, the world was faced with an unprecedented event: the COVID-19 pandemic. Nations adapted by adopting social distancing policies, adjusting existing infrastructures to have employees work remotely from home, and transitioning traditional face-to-face services to the digital domain. The medical world was one whose ability to transition quickly and effectively was crucial.
The lectures all built off one another in a wonderful fashion, starting with Dr. Fumiaki Ikeno. Dr. Ikeno not only introduced the speakers, but he also gave an excellent summation detailing the history of remote patient monitoring, which served as an excellent primer of what was to be discussed in the following lectures. Next was Mr. Bakul Patel, who gave a summary of how his role in the FDA is to develop an innovative software pre-certification program to reimagine a pragmatic regulatory approach for digital health. This software aims for patients and providers to have timely access to safe and effective digital health products. Dr. Peter Fitzgerald’s lecture then detailed the various ways one can access existing healthcare services through remote technology—for example, how a patient could access their pacemaker through their phones.
After a short break, Mr. Raphael Rakowski of Medically Home detailed the advantages and success that stemmed from transforming the traditional model of hospital care into an at-home service. Afterwards, Mr. Amar Kendale of Teladoc Health hosted a presentation on meeting the growing virtual care needs of consumers and healthcare professionals around the world. Lastly, we heard from Mr. Zaif Siddiqi of Docomo, whose presentation was titled “Reaping the Benefits of 5G In Healthcare.” This presentation illustrated that, due to the bandwidth offered, doctors can use 5G to operate on patients remotely in real-time with perfect image clarity even in rural areas.
The evening closed with a Q&A hosted by Dr. Ikeno and a networking session. Eleven different Zoom breakout rooms were offered in the networking session, enabling attendees and lecturers to connect and converse with one another.
This event proved that, through digital delivery, the medical world is truly undergoing a revolution—one which will change our world for the better.