Technology of Japanese start-up featured by doctors (Series #22)

The First Part: iCARE, Creating the Health of Workers Around the World

Clinical Doctor, Japan, Medical communication, Psychiatric disorder

“Carely” Solves Corporate Health Challenges with the Power of SaaS x Professionals

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Health and Productivity Management System “Carely” 
Source: iCARE Co., Ltd.

iCARE Co. Ltd. (hereafter, "iCARE"), a start-up involved in Health and Productivity Management (hereafter, “H&PM”), offers a service called “Carely.” It is an H&PM system that supports the creation of healthy organizations through preventive measures based on workers' health data.

What is an "H&PM?"
Some of you may be wondering what an “H&PM” is? The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan (hereafter, “METI”) website states that “H&PM is an approach that considers the health management of employees from a corporate management perspective and promotes it strategically. Investment in employees' health as a corporate philosophy is expected to lead to invigorating a company as a whole by improving employees’ vitality and productivity, thus eventually enhancing its performance, and driving up its stock price.” H&PM is one of the government's initiatives to promote health investment and realize “extending people's healthy life expectancy” as a country that is facing a drastically aging society and declining birthrate. 1)

METI has established various award programs to promote H&PM initiatives by companies. Since FY 2014, METI and the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) have been conducting “the Health & Productivity Stock Selection.” Fifty enterprises were selected FY 2022, and this is the highest number of enterprises since the program was established.2)  In addition, the “The Certified Health & Productivity Management Outstanding Organizations Recognition Program” was launched FY2016 to recognize outstanding organizations engaging in efforts for H&PM. The number of recognized organizations for FY 2022 totaled 14,554, an increase of approximately 1.5 times over the 9,735 recognized organizations for last year's FY 2021. 3)  These indicate that the government is focusing on H&PM initiatives and growing interest from organizations.

H&PM and Presenteeism in the U.S.
The U.S. is known for its high level of health care costs. The heavy burden of medical costs was even cited by some companies as one of the reasons for their business failures. In fact, However, research has shown that “presenteeism” is much larger than medical costs when looking at the overall structure of health-related costs. 4)  “Presenteeism” refers to a situation in which employees is present at work, but their work efficiency is reduced due to some health problem due to factors such as mental health problems or migraine headaches and others. In other words, a situation where health-related costs are incurred, albeit indirectly, on the part of the company or organization. 

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COMMERCE, “Healthy-Workforce-2010-and-Beyond”

This research shows that it is necessary to consider the issue of overall health-related costs, including not only medical costs but also presenteeism etc. The concept of "H&PM" is based on simultaneously managing both the health and productivity of employees working for companies and organizations. The idea is spreading in the United States. 5)

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Vol. 92 (Issued at 2023/07/25)

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