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Aiming to realize patient-centered healthcare, we take data integration and utilization one step further.

Social systems in Europe and the US, based on the digital health network that connects healthcare practitioners and researchers, have been set up to support data usage and feedback loop to patients.

In Japan, similar trends of active data usage have been seen across sectors, but its importance is increasingly recognized in healthcare. Yet there is room for improvement in integrating data held by various stakeholders, while efforts for data utilization have been progressing at a slow pace.

LIFE COURSE DESIGN, GENERAL INC. ASSOCIATION (hereinafter referred to as "Life Course Design") and Lanex Corporation (hereinafter referred to as "Lanex") are attempting to accelerate the change in response to these situations and are advancing a project to deliver healthcare digitalization.

We spoke with Yoshihiko Izumida, Professor of Medicine at Saitama Medical University and Chairman of Life Course Design, and Sow Boubacar, System Engineer/Project Manager at Lanex, about the initiative between the two organizations.


  • A PoC testing delivery of digital health society based on the technologies behind E-MCH, a mobile app for managing various information during pregnancy.
  • Hoping to create new treatments and generate knowledge base by integrating and utilizing data across disciplines.
  • Empowering patients to manage their own data to customize and deliver right healthcare services.
  • Localization of the system for other countries and use of AI technology
  • A trial to be conducted in Senegal for delivery

Aim to digitalize healthcare community starting with digitalization in perinatal care

——First of all, could you give us an overview of this project?

Yoshihiko Izumida (Izumida):Before we speak about the project, please allow me to explain an indispensable part of this project, which is the Life Course Design Consortium: It is an organization jointly founded by Saitama Medical University and KDDI Research. One of the reasons for its founding was to connect cross-sector experts in health and surrounding fields.

The role of this consortium is threefold. The first is to connect stakeholders who do not normally have interactions. The second is to develop small businesses and build larger systems to facilitate data usage at scale. The third is to develop a universal model practical domestically and internationally so that we can help make our world a better place.

To achieve these goals, it was necessary to create a sophisticated system capable of integrating and managing sensitive medical data. In this project, we are working on developing this system.

——How is Lanex involved in this project?

Sow Boubacar (Sow):We have developed a product called E-MCH (Electronic Maternal and Child Health Record)," a system that integrates and consumes data related to perinatal care. Based on this technical expertise, we are developing a system that manages confidential data as per requirements of the Life Course Design Consortium

How is Lanex involved in this project?

——What are the key highlights of this initiative?

Izumida:Integratin of medical data produces significant benefits in various aspects, including diagnostic, clinical, and therapeutic. Digital transformation (DX) to support data integration and management would open up new possibilities, resulting in new treatment methods, among others.
Medical institutions, governments, and private companies each owns a variety of data, and by accumulating and integrating these data, new insights can be generated to give benefits back to patients.

However, integration of information has been slow in coming in Japan, making it difficult to make effective use of data to drive better care.

Sow:In order to utilize health data, it is essential to build appropriate methods of collecting and handling data compliant with rigorous security standards.

Being a tech company, we have joined this project with the aim to build a comprehensive system that encompasses confidential data integration, data security assurance and more, in a way useful to healthcare practitioners.

Passion for improving health data usage resonated with the project members and led to the launch of the project.

——To learn the seminal point of your collaboration, I would like to ask how you two met.

Izumida:At i2.JP's first anniversary event, Sow showcased the need for digital solutions in health data management as well as E-MCH for perinatal data management.

I was fascinated with E-MCH because I myself was interested in developing a system that leverages PHR (Personal Health Record) and EHR (Electronic Health Record). I also felt that E-MCH was an excellent, globally scalable project. So, I approached Sow for possible collaboration.

Sow, what was your impression at the time?

——Sow, what was your impression at the time?

Sow:Dr. Izumida has been a proponent of digitalization of the entire health system, and his passion for transforming the way data is handled within hospitals was very clear to me. Lanex is interested in developing in-hospital applications, so we keenly felt that there was strong potential for collaboration. Since Lanex is not a medical expert, we felt we could deliver more reliable and easier-to-use solutions, informed by opinions of research institutes and medical institutions from the development stage.

Numerous meetings in our journey to deliver a patient-centered health service

——What exactly was the process of the project?

Sow:First, we started with the definition of requirements, which is fundamental to any system development. I had an idea of what I wanted from the beginning of the project, so I started designing the system from there. During the requirements definition, we had many meetings because we needed to gather all the necessary information before building the system.

——During the course of the entire project, what did you prioritize?

Izumida:We had discussions day after day to collect and analyze data. But we also have been gathering ideas about how to scale our solution worldwide, instead of ending everything after the system is developed.

——Did you encounter any difficulties while working on the project?

Izumida:To build a sustainable system, we need to develop a system adaptable to economic and social conditions.

However, the budget is a key issue for any such development work. Right now, we only have a model solution. In the future, we need to start thinking how to commercialize our solution.

It is also important to raise awareness of the need for data integration. This project requires involvement of many stakeholders, but not everyone involved precisely understands the importance of integrating and using data: I understand some of them are not open to novel approach.

These differences in awareness can be a barrier in scaling the system created in this project. Integration and use of data is essential to ultimately realizing patient-centered medicine. Spreading this awareness is something we need to tackle in the future.

Sow:On the developer side, formulating the design strategies such as how to integrate and manage data and how to guarantee a level of security was time-consuming. We also struggled with managing complex development tasks and delivering them on time.

New connections created through collaboration

——Your project is still ongoing. What have been your findings and outcomes?

Izumida:Our expertise is different, being in healthcare and IT industries. But by discussing repeatedly and working collaboratively, innovative ideas are emerging. This renewed my understanding that it is essential to actively engage with cross-industry players.

Sow:IT companies generally struggle with finding the right user, no matter how great the product is. In this context, it was an achievement for Lanex to be able to connect with various customers with the cooperation of Saitama Medical University and the Consortium.

——What are your future plans for scaling this project globally?

Sow:We plan to offer this system to users in many countries and incorporate AI technology.
It is not easy to introduce a system in countries with different languages, but I believe it is possible. We are considering developing English, French, Chinese, and Spanish versions first.
Regarding the plan to incorporate AI technology, we are hoping to receive expert opinions and support for developing a few prototypes.

Izumida:Reverse innovation is the key, allowing an innovative model validated in emerging markets to be exported to developed markets such as Japan and the US where time to regulatory approval is likely longer.

In fact, Senegal is the first test market for our system. Senegal is a perfect market for taking up a challenge, as the country aspires to access new technologies and systems more so than Japan and the US. After developing successful examples in these markets, we would like to take this project further.

——If you are to comment on the advantage of being a member of i2.JP, what would that be?

Sow: I am always inspired by Dr. Izumida. I learn so much every time I collaborate with university professors and researchers. Dr. Izumida taught me how to engage with research institutes and universities and being able to share product information with such institutions is a great advantage.

i2.JP has provided opportunities for such new encounters and collaborations.

Izumida:Since i2.JP brings together a wide variety of companies, it plays a key role in supplying new businesses and new markets.

Finally, do you have any message for those who are considering joining i2.JP?

Finally, do you have any message for those who are considering joining i2.JP?

Izumida:Collaboration is the key to crafting a new social model in health domain and social healthcare system. Let's reimagine together the future of medicine.

Sow:i2. JP offers a potential to meet with future project collaborators. In fact, there is a limit to what a single company can do to develop a world-class system. Cross-disciplinary collaboration will be essential for expansion and success in the years ahead.

泉田 欣彦(Yoshihiko Izumida)
Yoshihiko Izumida
Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Saitama Medical University and Chariman, LIFE COURSE DESIGN, GENERAL INC. ASSOCIATION

Established the Life Course Design Consortium in October 2021 with companies, startups, academic organizations, and medical institutions. The organization offers online medical services and telemedicine in a wide area using ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and IoT technology that connects everything on the Internet.

ソウ・ブバカール(Boubacar Sow)
Sow Boubacar
Project Manager/System Engineer, Lanex Corporation

Project manager for Lanex (in Miyagi), a system developer. His mission is to realize a "digital health society" where access to health is guaranteed for everyone in need.

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