Digital transformation in the medical field

The application of cutting-edge technologies has resulted in remarkable progress in the development of medical devices and pharmaceutical products. Compared with other industries, however, the power of internet technology has been underutilized in the field of medical healthcare.

Despite the extraordinary development of a wide range of modern medical testing devices, the mechanism for sharing test data among medical institutions remains a relic of the past. Even with the continued development of remarkable new pharmaceutical products, no services have emerged to improve the healthcare experience by, for example, eliminating waiting times at medical institutions and pharmacies. At Medley, we believe the skillful integration of internet technology with existing medical systems can increase the productivity of healthcare professionals and result in better outcomes for patients.

To accomplish our mission of “creating the future of medical and healthcare”, Medley focuses on converting medical information technology (IT) systems to SaaS (Software as a Service) products. Only roughly 42% of clinics in Japan currently use electronic medical records (EMRs) and more than half of medical institutions still use paper medical records. In addition, most EMRs are locally stored on on-premise systems that use only local networks.

Internet technology that could benefit both patients and healthcare professionals cannot be used under these conditions. Medley is therefore working to convert medical IT systems, including telemedicine systems, to SaaS products.

For example, rather than just entering information, online appointment management systems can allow patients to search for open time slots and make appointments, thereby speeding up the process and reducing the burden on the medical office staff. Storing prescription and dispensing information on the cloud allows automatic creation and updating of prescription records, eliminates the need to hand over a paper prescription notebook at the dispensing pharmacy, and allows access to data that can prevent redundant dosage. Eventually, we may even be able to use data science to enable early detection of patients with rare diseases.

It is impossible to measure the benefits of converting a medical IT system to SaaS products in terms of overcoming challenges facing the Japanese medical care industry such as declining birthrates and the aging of society, workstyle reforms, and rising social security costs. Rather than talking about ideals, however, we think it is more important to develop and disseminate medical IT systems that can be used in actual medical care settings. We believe that reducing the time required for this transition will surely create great value for society. That is why we are working to develop and encourage the widespread use of these systems.

Medley has entered the telemedicine system market with the launch of its SaaS business. Our cloud-based medical care support system currently features appointment, telemedicine, and EMR support services as well as pharmacy support systems. We also actively contribute to the development of public interest projects such as National Strategic Special Zone initiatives and contracted projects for the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare including verification of medical information systems and creation of technical standards.

Examples of efforts to conduct proper dissemination of online medical care

Participation in “Pilot project on full-scale use of electronic prescriptions” as a contractor

In December 2018, Medley participated in the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s Pilot project on full-scale use of electronic prescriptions as a contractor. We conducted and managed this pilot project that studied real-world systems designed to allow smoother management of electronic prescriptions. We will continue to actively contribute to the development of public interest projects such as the demonstration of medical information systems and standardization of technological specifications.

We believe steady progress in the digitization of the roughly 800 million prescriptions issued per year in Japan* will reduce the environmental impact of the medical industry by reducing consumption of paper resources.

Support for the SUKUMO Online Medical Demonstration Project

Along with Hata Medical Association and NTT DOCOMO Shikoku branch office, we cooperate in the SUKUMO Online Medical Demonstration Project run by Sukumo city in the Hata area of Kochi Prefecture and Ooida Hospital. This project promotes the use of telemedicine, online drug administration guidance, and regional medical information networks.

Assisted Japan Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists with creation of explanatory course on telemedicine

The Japan Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ seminar on obstetrics and gynecology included an explanatory course on telemedicine in March 2021. The course was created by the telemedicine project team of the IT Department of the Japan Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in order to help provide appropriate telemedicine services in the field of obstetrics and gynecology and Medley provided production assistance.

Statement regarding telemedicine by the Japan Medical Venture Association

The Subcommittee on Telemedicine of the Japan Medical Venture Association, of which Medley is a member, published a proposal titled Proposal regarding end-to-end online provision of medical care from diagnosis to prescription and drug administration guidance: ensuring patient access to medical care amid the COVID-19 crisis in June 2021. Based on this proposal, we will continue to engage with government and industry institutions in order to benefit patients and medical professionals by ensuring access to medical care by shifting medical care experiences online.

Conducted survey on usage of telemedicine

We published an online article on the current status of telemedicine titled “Choices to ensure the provision of better medical care” based on outcomes of usage of our CLINICS telemedicine system and a survey of medical institutions using the system.

Training of telemedicine professionals (securing of contract and execution)

During January-March 2019, Medley was commissioned to work on the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare project "Training for Telemedicine Professionals". During this three-month period, we held ten training sessions around the country (eight basic training sessions and two telemedicine training sessions).

A total of 434 people participated in basic training sessions and 131 people participated in telemedicine training sessions. A survey of participants showed a satisfaction rate over 80%.

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