Continua members tout innovation in Japan

TOKYO — Drug Store News caught up with Continua Health Alliance’s executive director Chuck Parker following the CEATEC Japan conference, an IT and electronics trade show, to get a glimpse into what tomorrow’s self-care diagnostic devices might look like.

As many as 25 Continua members showcased new consumer healthcare services in early October at the show, some of which are slated to launch in November in Japan.

For example, NTT Resonant, a leading Japanese Internet service provider, showcased forthcoming functions of its health management services “goo Karada Log,” which works in concert with blood-pressure monitors by A&D. And Alive, a wireless solution provider, demonstrated Bluetooth-compatible 
data-exchange devices, connecting data from those monitors to personal laptops, for example.

“These are commercial products that will be marketed to ... Japanese consumers,” Parker told DSN. The Japanese market, which benefits from a more robust healthcare IT infrastructure, may serve as a good indicator for future U.S. launches. “What they do in Japan tends to work fairly well in the [United States], as well,” Parker said, especially as Japanese consumers tend to rapidly adopt new technologies. 

Parker suggested that the U.S. market is as much as two years behind the Japanese market, but mostly due to regulatory approval processes at the Food and Drug Administration.

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