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Robotic Nurse Assistant (RoNA) System: Advantages & Healthcare Industry Report

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Over the last few decades, the advancement in technology has surged at a rapid rate and spread across the globe. The accessibility and affordability of technology has pointed out several benefits, including improved quality of life, better scientific research and a higher average life expectancy in several countries. Since many parts of daily life are mechanized, people can focus on their interests and careers. Currently, in many technologically progressive societies, the population is not only living longer, but is also offering fewer children. Since many people are living up to old age and not many children are born to cover up the difference, there are lesser and lesser resources to take care of older groups.

The concept of the Robotic Nurse Assistant System was introduced to take care of elderly people and is running successful in countries like Japan where 30% of the population is over the age of 65. Currently, these systems are actively used in medical facilities & centers to lift patients safely without the involvement of humans.

Development of Robotic Nurse Assistants

• In 2009, healthcare research company Hstar Technologies started a research project designed to report the numerous clinical and technological challenges faced by different healthcare practitioners. It focused on developing a human-safe and heavy-lifting robotic system which can function in any clinical environment.
• The efforts of the research and development team resulted in the creation of the RoNA Robotic Patient Lifting System-a self-directed robotic nursing assistant designed to help healthcare providers operate and lift patients weighing close to 500 pounds.

Advantages of RoNA

In strong competition with ceiling-mounted lift systems, patient lift teams and mobile sling systems; RoNA provides some distinctive advantages such as:
• RoNA is an omnidirectional and mobile system with mecanum wheels to move in any direction. It can work in confined spaces, and explore areas where several portable lifting systems cannot travel. It is far better than mobility and maneuverability ceiling systems which are fixed.
• Telepresence support RoNA can function alongside a trained nurse, or can be supervised by a tenuously located nurse while operating with a less expertized attendant.
• Patient Safety RoNA is a smart, learning system, which is capable to sense center of gravity during the lifting process as well as automatically adjust its position. (This is primarily possible due to a unique stability system). It results is making the patient feel more protected during the lift as compared to a physical transfer involving human hands.
• RoNA works to reduce employee injury and premature retirements in facilities which have not yet organized lifting devices. This system will deliver the full benefit of a secure lifting program, decreasing workman’s compensation along with injury-related costs by almost 40%. In centers where safe patient handling programs are implemented, RoNA will enhance compliance, further decreasing injury-related costs.

Robotics Nurse Assistant System Market

• According to the healthcare industry report, the market for robotic nurse assistant system is quite flourishing in Japan. These robotic nurses are also utilized in the United States where they were thoughtful developed.
• It is predicted that in the near future nurse assistant robots may be fully prepared to help take care of the elderly population. In Japan more than a third of the population would be senior citizens by the year 2025, 12% higher from the statistics of 1990. According to reports, Japan required two million professionals in 2010 to offer care for the elderly, but lacked by a count of 700,000. If analytical trends continue, the deficiency will double by 2025 to reach 1.4 million.

• Presently, Japan is developing robot nurse assistants to help with mechanical tasks, empowering nurses to give their patients extra quality time. Currently, the only robot fulfilling safety standards in Japan is known to be the Cyberdyne (8C4 Frankfurt) Exoskeleton. Each of these robots cost $1,780, which is quite less as compared to the annual average salary of $25,000 for a nurse in Japan. This cost-benefit analysis is quite convincing.
• If robot helpers, like the Cyberdyne Exoskeleton, are compared to half of a nurse, then around 2.8 million robots will be needed to complete the shortage, developing a $5 billion market involving personal health care robots at current prices in Japan alone. It was revealed that, the sale of medical robots on a global scale valued $1.5 billion in 2013. Although not used for surgery, these personal care robots in the hospital environment would significantly surge the market for nursing robots. By satisfying nurse scarcities with nurse assistant robots, human nurses can grow more productive, adding fineness to the patient experience while dropping costs at the same time; making it a win-win situation for the healthcare system.

Japanese Pharmaceutical Industry: An Insight Into Globalization

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Japan is the second largest market for pharmaceuticals, with the US being the largest. It represents almost 10% of the world pharmaceutical market. One of the major driving force behind this large market size is the aging of Japanese population i.e. 26% of the Japanese population is 65 years or older. Keeping a higher life expectancy, Japan tops the world list both in male and female population. Consequently, the medical needs are at a surge; thus, boosting the number of pharmaceutical companies, importers, and exporters in Japan.

The Japanese government has taken multiple steps to address the medical needs. The government’s aim is to reduce the overall expenditure in delivering the adequate healthcare to the Japanese population. Recently, two major breakthroughs were regulated; biennial drugs price revision and promotion of generic drugs instead of branded drugs. The branded (patented) drugs are costly as they bear the cost of research, development, and commercialization. Japanese medical industry, especially those who focus on branded drugs, now need to increase its global presence to relieve this competition with generic drugs industry. Back in the 1990s, the government’s decision to allow import of medicines had already restricted the business available to the domestic-only pharmaceutical companies.

In this context, it has become vital for the Japanese medical industry to invest in clinical research facilitating the globalization. It has been observed that the Japanese companies have been spending less budget on research & development as compared to the American and European companies. Japanese pharmaceutical companies have long been using the in-house clinical trials for the domestic testing. However, the increasing global demand for new drug development necessitates the R&D including the clinical trials. This provided a space for contract research organization (CRO) to come forward. The local and international CRO industry is, thus, one of the immediate focus markets for the Japanese pharmaceuticals.

As the Japanese government is well-aware of all ongoing changes, steps are being taken to reduce the length of the review process for the introduction of a new drug in Japan. The recent guidelines have allowed the use of non-Japanese trial data for facilitating a quick introduction of novel drugs in the market. Likewise, it necessitates the export of Japanese medicine to clinical research organizations worldwide for use in clinical trials. Consequently, most the Japanese pharmaceutical companies have already started exporting the drugs for clinical CRO examination.

With a high number of pharmaceutical companies in the market, it is now unavoidable to use technology in development, testing and promotion of Japanese medicine. The department of health also helps the companies who are technologically advanced and are planning international expansion. In this context, the online availability of Japanese pharmaceuticals has become vital for effective marketing.

In conclusion, it is to reiterate that the Japanese pharmaceutical industry needs to expand their business worldwide for a long-term sustainability. Contract research organizations can provide them a big support for benchmarking their inventions by organizing structured clinical trials.