2023/06/15

Technology of Japanese start-up featured by doctors (Series #32)

MEDITA, Technology Accompanies “Living”

OB-GYN, Clinical Doctor, FemTech, Japan, Digital Therapeutics (DTx)

Source: Shutterstock

“Aidy,” a Women-Specific Health and Productivity Management Platform

The term “xx-tech” has been in vogue recently, but have you ever heard of the term “femtech”? According to Femtech Community Japan, “femtech” is a coined word that combines the words “Female” and “Technology,” and refers to a field that uses technology to solve issues related to women’s healthcare. 1)

One such femtech-related company that I have been keeping an eye on is MEDITA Inc (hereafter MEDITA). I have previously introduced MEDITA in my article “MEDITA to Conduct Research and Development on Sensor-Based Body Temperature Fluctuations” in LSMIP. Since then, MEDITA has launched “Aidy,” a women-specific health management platform under a new structure. This service is a Health and Productivity Management for all working women, from youth to menopause, covering all aspects of physical and mental health, from prevention to countermeasures. 2)


Source: MEDITA

The basic plan of “Aidy” consists of three elements.
(1)   A collection of online questions created in conjunction with researchers in the fields of women’s psychology and maternal nursing, which scale the degree of physical and mental health unique to women based on gender differences and women’s physical ailments, allowing users to visualize their own health and get a “bird’s eye view” of themselves.
(2)   A chat system that enables health consultation with female-only specialists.
(3)   A system that allows users to obtain sanitary products and OTC medicines from the IoT box “Aidybox,” which is placed in a private place such as a bathroom, without face-to-face contact, in case they feel unwell or in case of spur-of-the-moment events.
 
Source: MEDITA

In May of 2023, MEDITA announced the launch of an online medical practice collaboration. 3) The online practice in “Aidy” now allows doctors and patients to interact in a safe and convenient online environment. It allows patients who cannot go to a clinic or hospital or live in remote areas to interact with a physician and receive a diagnosis.

Women’s health issues are diverse and include PMS, PMDD, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and other diseases and symptoms specific to women. However, it can be difficult to talk about these diseases and symptoms. “Aidy” aims to provide a safe place for women to discuss these issues. Through this online medical care collaboration, people with concerns and worries about women’s health will be able to easily discuss their concerns with a doctor and receive treatment at an early stage.

Looking at the previous body temperature research and this “Aidy” project, I was concerned about the future business development of MEDITA and interviewed them.

Q1: After developing product services, when and how did you start developing the platform? And what are your goals for the future?

Ms. Sayuri Tanaka, CEO of MEDITA
Source: MEDITA

Ms. Tanaka: The idea for “Aidy” has been in the works since the company was first established. I have always wanted to “help visualize gender-based medicine and its physical and mental aspects and help improve inconvenience.” After completing the NEDO’s STS support (Commercialization support for Seed-stage Technology-based Startups), *1 we have discovered that our wearable device has the potential to detect sleep and body clock. However, due to recent semiconductor issues with the device, we have decided that we will need some time to deliver it. I wondered if there was anything we could offer ahead of time while utilizing some of the findings from our research. Therefore, I conducted a series of interviews with personnel, pharmaceutical companies, and women who were suffering from such problems about the service I had been thinking about for individuals since I was a graduate student and an employee. Furthermore, from around August of 2022, I worked with maternal nursing, occupational health, and female psychologists to refine the service, and “Aidy” was launched in December of that year. 
Our goal for the future is to “help increase the number of things that can be prevented or dealt with by oneself” while considering the future structure of medical care, as gender-based medicine is still not widespread.

Q2: Was the current platform as you originally envisioned, or were there some pivots?

Ms. Tanaka: It is difficult to say to what extent we are following our vision, but my background is in clinical psychology, women’s psychology, and mental health, and I started my IoT venture.
The project combines the knowledge I have gained from these experiences and the background of the times. In the end, we changed the priority of the launch from the original plan, and carefully considered how to make the product more accessible to the public at the present time and what issues needed to be addressed.

Q3: In closing, what are the strengths of your company?

Ms. Tanaka: Currently, several companies have introduced the system, and they say, “We are glad to have it. It gives me peace of mind.” Some of them got sick on the introduction day and said, “I’ve been waiting for this.” We are pleased to have received such comments.
We also see a lot of potential in OTC drugs and psychology, and in addition to that, my background has been put to good use in this service. On the other hand, we have a limited amount of knowledge about medications, so we built a system that allows our company to provide medication counseling as well. We feel that “Aidy” is a service that the employees much need. We will do our best to make it available to a wider range of companies in the future.

Source: Shutterstock

That is all for the interview with Ms. Tanaka. I want to thank Ms. Tanaka for allowing me to interview her again, following on from the previous article.

Ms. Tanaka herself has suffered from PMS, PMDD, and migraine headaches, and during her professional graduate school days in clinical psychology, she researched to help women. Based on her experience, “Aidy” was developed to provide a service that would make life a little easier for all working women. In the future, she hopes to expand and develop the service into a more self-managing service.
We hope many companies will promote health and productivity management for women using femtech, such as “Aidy,” to increase the number of comfortable workplaces for women.

(End)


【Footnotes】
*1 Commercialization support for Seed-stage Technology-based Startups:
NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization) has certified domestic and foreign venture capitalists and seed accelerators (hereafter “VCs etc.”) that support R&D startups, and provides grants to seed-stage R&D startups funded by these VCs etc. for their practical application development.
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, “R&D Startup Support Program” https://www.nedo.go.jp/activities/ZZJP_100091.htm

【Source】
1)     Femtech Community Japan “ABOUT” https://www.femtechjapan.org/en/home 
2)     MEDITA Inc. Press release 「MEDITA、女性特化型健康経営プラットフォーム「Aidy」の提供を開始」 2022/12/14、 https://prtimes.jp/main/html/rd/p/000000021.000037148.html
3)     MEDITA Inc. Press release 「MEDITAが女性用健康管理プラットフォームAidyでオンライン診療の連携を開始」 2023/05/26, https://prtimes.jp/main/html/rd/p/000000022.000037148.html

We have not received any rewards from the publishers for writing this manuscript.


The information contained in this article is compiled by the respective authors based on publicly available information. We assume no responsibility whatsoever for any damage or disadvantage caused by actions taken based on such information. Unauthorized reproduction of articles, photos, charts, etc. is prohibited.
Copyright © 2023 LSMIP office / CM Plus Corporation

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