New initiative will use iPads and apps to improve elder care in Japan

Fri, 2015-05-15 06:00 -- Liz Enbysk

What's being called a first-of-its-kind initiative to improve the quality of life for elderly populations will deliver iPads and IBM-developed apps and analytics to connect Japan's senior citizens to services, healthcare, community and family. 

Council Lead Partner IBM is working with Apple and the Japan Post Group, which provides postal, banking and insurance services in Japan, on the initiative.

"What we're starting today draws on IBM's long heritage of innovation at the intersection of technology, business and society," said Ginni Rometty, President, Chairman and CEO of IBM. "The potential we see here -- as broad as national economics and as specific as the quality of life of individuals and their families -- is one example of the potential of mobile-led transformation anywhere in the world where issues of an aging population exist.”

Included in the program will be custom-built apps developed specifically for the elderly by IBM Global Business Services. These apps enable such things as reminders and alerts about medications, exercise and diet, along with direct access to community activities and supporting services such as grocery shopping and job matching.

Japan's aging population
Today more than 33 million seniors make up about 25% of Japan's population, with that number projected to grow to 40% over the next 40 years. After piloting the iPads and apps, Japan Post will expand the service in stages with the objective of including 4 to 5 million customers in Japan by 2020. 

"This initiative has potential for global impact, as many countries face the challenge of supporting an aging population, and we are honored to be involved in supporting Japan’s senior citizens and helping enrich their lives," said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. "iPad is incredibly intuitive, easy to use and has accessibility features built in, making it a perfect device for any generation to be connected and engaged."

Related stories…
IBM and Apple unveil 10-pack of apps
How smartphones, social media, analytics and apps are powering smarter healthcare

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This article is from the Council's Compassionate Cities initiative which highlights how city leaders and other stakeholders can leverage smart technologies to end suffering in their communities and give all citizens a route out of poverty. Click the Compassionate Cities box on our registration page to receive our weekly newsletter.

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