Japan’s healthcare system is coming under increased strain with doctors and nurses working overtime, not to mention rising medical care costs and wait times in hospitals. As with other countries, COVID-19 has put even more stress on frontline medical staff. To address these issues, SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) is applying its digital transformation (DX) know-how to the healthcare field.
HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGIES Corp., a SoftBank Corp. group company, is providing healthcare services to employees and community residents in cooperation with enterprises and local governments with its “HELPO” healthcare app that was first released in July 2020.
With the HELPO app on their smartphones, users can easily conduct health consultations remotely via chat, as well as search for hospitals and purchase over-the-counter medicine.
HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGIES is also providing saliva-based COVID-19 PCR tests for individuals, companies and municipalities. With the HELPO app, users can apply for tests and check test results, which eliminates the need for long wait times in hospitals. As of May 2021, more than 440,000 saliva-based PCR tests have been performed through HELPO.
An expanding lineup of healthcare services coming to the HELPO app
Furthermore, from June 2021, telemedicine functions are being added to HELPO in collaboration with Tokyo-based startup MICIN Inc. With this newly added functionality, a series of procedures, such as booking appointments for medical examinations, and paying for medical fees can be performed on the HELPO app.
Medical institutions registered with MICIN’s “curon” online service, which number approximately 5,000 nationwide, can provide telemedicine services on HELPO. And when a doctor prescribes a certain medication, pharmacies that are registered with MICIN's online medication guidance service can deliver the prescribed medication directly to the patient.
SoftBank and HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGIES will continue to leverage DX to optimize Japan’s medical resources and improve people's wellbeing.
(Posted on June 28, 2021)
by SoftBank News Editors