Japan - Country Commercial Guide
Health IT

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-10-30

Overview 

Japan continues to rank among the top export prospects according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Health IT Top Market Report. This position reflects the facts that Japan has the third-highest GDP level globally (behind only the United States and China); a large Health IT market size; the oldest-skewing population distribution; a high concentration of population clustered in urban areas; a tech-friendly society; and very good Health IT infrastructure. All of these factors indicate that Health IT already has a good foundation in Japan, with the potential for continued growth.

The Japanese government implemented the “Social Security and Tax Number System” (or “My Number System”) in January 2016 to improve the social infrastructure and governmental administrative efficiency. The system’s utilization in the healthcare area is limited to administrative procedures for health insurance. In May 2019, the Health Insurance Law was revised so that people can present “My Number Cards” as the national health insurance certificates from 2021. The Japanese government also aims to utilize the anonymous data for research purposes.

The Japanese government expects the adoption of information technology in the medical care and home nursing care fields to increase, and regional medical cooperation will expand through information sharing between these two fields. However, security and privacy protection concerns still exist over the utilization of medical databases and healthcare big data, and the linkage of medical information numbers and the My Number System.

The adoption of electronic medical records to use health information big data is a major priority in Japan. According to an industry source, the adoption rate for electronic medical records and ordering systems among all hospitals in 2018 was 38.3% and 45.3% respectively. 78.1% of large hospitals with more than 400 beds have electronic medical records and 82.9% of them have electronic ordering systems.

As part of COVID 19 measures, Japanese government temporarily eased the telemedicine restrictions allowing doctors to conduct an online clinical examination for the first time patients in April 2020.

Market size (USD million) 

Year 

2014 

2015 

2016 

2017 

2018

Total 

3,953 

3,798 

3,556 

3,866

4,116

Electronic Health Record 

1,331 

1,337 

1,396 

1,442

1,628

Ordering Systems 

315 

317 

253 

254

240

Medical Imaging Systems 

409 

376 

356 

345

307

Regional Cooperation Systems 

52 

54 

41 

43 

33

Exchange Rate (JPY/USD1.00) 

105.74 

121.05 

108.66 

112.10 

110.40

Source: Japanese Association of Healthcare Information Systems Industries (JAHIS) 

Leading Sub-Sectors 

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW)’s artificial intelligence (AI) advisory panel released a report on “Utilizing Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare Sector” in June 2017, which discussed important areas for AI development, including genomic medicine, diagnostic imaging support, diagnostic treatment support, drug development, nursing care, and surgery assistance. With the MHLW’s telemedicine guideline released in March 2018, U.S. technologies in the areas of security, data privacy and cloud computing are expected to see increased market opportunities.  

Opportunities 

CEATEC Japan Online 2020  

October 20-23, 2020 

Medical IT Expo 2020  

October 14-16, 2020 

Makuhari Messe 

HOSPEX Japan 2020  

November 11-13, 2020 

Tokyo Big Sight 

Pharma IT & Digital Expo 2021 

April 14-16, 2021 

Tokyo Big Sight 

Web Resources 

American Chamber of Commerce Japan  

Japanese Association of Healthcare Information Systems Industries  

Japan Medical Imaging and Radiological Systems Industries Association  

HL-7 Japan  

Integrating the Health Enterprise Japan 

Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium

CS Japan Contact: 

Ms. Yasue Morimoto, Commercial Assistant 

Yasue.Morimoto@trade.gov