Industry Report

Opportunities for Swiss companies in the Japanese Gerontech Market

Japan turns to robotics, AI, Big Data and IoT solutions to tackle the heavy socio-economic, nursing and health challenges raised by a super-aging population.

Woman checking her smartwatch

Japan stands at the world forefront of the socio-economical challenge generated by the super-aging of its population. In 2015, 26,7% of the Japanese population was aged 65 and over. One person out of three will be over 65 by 2025, and one out of fourth over 75 (super-aging segment). Japan is pressed to find solutions to help its aging residents and improve their health, relieve overloaded nursing and care infrastructures, and provide a pleasant living, risk-free environment to seniors. To do it, the public and private sectors turn towards tools stemming from the Fourth Industrial Revolution such as Big Data, IoT, AI and robotics.

Growing Silver Market in Japan

The size of the so-called “Silver Market” in Japan is estimated to reach 101.3 trillion JPY by 2025 (902.85 billion CHF). Specifically, the medical sector will reach 35 trillion JPY (311.9 billion CHF, + 116%), the nursing industry 15.2 trillion JPY (135.48 billion CHF, +137.5%), and the quality of life segment 51.5 trillion JPY (456.34 billion CHF, +26.8%). A shortage of qualified nursing workforce is one of the most pressing problems, and technological tools aiming at either compensating, supporting or rationalizing the work of care personnel are particularly needed.

Tech-based products as a solution

AI-based solutions integrated into smartphones or personal devices to detect and/or prevent the onset of dementia and/or diminish its consequences to allow those affected to maintain their autonomy at home are one of the main areas of opportunities. With millions of seniors living alone in rural and isolated areas, tech-based products allowing caretakers to check remotely their status, thus compensating for distance, lack of personnel and failing demographics, are also needed.

Heavy actors of the Japan tech, engineering, communication, and robotics industries are increasingly active in this sector, either as investors or as direct solution suppliers. While Japan is an established world leader in robotics, the country faces a serious shortage of human resources with advanced IT skills and background in the field of Big Data, IoT, AI, etc. Large domestic actors have adopted an open innovation strategy and begun to acquire foreign startups.

Foreign solutions are welcome

Foreign solutions adapted to local needs can prove to be successful thanks to a close collaboration with Japanese actors. Swiss Business Hub Japan compiled a report to make Swiss SMEs and startups aware of these opportunities. Dowload the report below for more information!

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