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Japan Digital Health Industry

The continuous growth of Japan’s digital health industry has been driven by a confluence of factors, including Japan’s large and aging population, the country’s advanced IT infrastructure, and a rapid shift to digital that has been accelerated by COVID-19.  With healthcare spending increasing in Japan, the Japanese Government is seeking ways to lower costs by increasing R&D investment and improving regulations for digital health goods and services.  Recent trends further indicate that Japanese consumers have become more interested in the latest cutting-edge goods from U.S. digital health companies.  Taking these positive factors into consideration, U.S. exporters of digital healthcare goods and services are well-positioned to take advantage of this actively growing market.

In recent years, the global spread of COVID-19 has reaffirmed the importance of promptly collecting, analyzing, and utilizing data.  Along with the challenges of the pandemic, in Japan, medical expenses are rising with a sharp increase of the elderly population and widening medical disparities due to shortages in medical staff.  This has led to the increased use of new digital technology in AI, IoT, and robotics in Japan’s medical industry with digital technology and innovation expected to alleviate some of the challenges the country has in the healthcare field.

The development of Japan’s digital health industry enables patients to obtain large amounts of information and make healthcare access easier and more convenient.  While monitoring one’s own health status through wearable devices, patients are freed from any time and place restrictions in medical care.  In this regard, as telemedicine and remote monitoring using IoT become more widespread, Japan’s medical industry will gradually shift from medical facilities to homes, making it also possible for medical institutions to save on labor costs of medical staff.

In 2021, the Fuji Chimera Research Institute’s released a report called the “IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) New Market Outlook” that highlighted the following:

  • Japan’s telemedicine market will grow from USD 243 million in 2020 to USD 404.5 million by 2025.   With shortages in medical specialists and the need for operational efficiency, online medicine that includes the medical consultation market will continue to expand with the entry of major IT vendors and health management companies.
  • In Japan’s healthcare IT market, wearable healthcare equipment (smart watches, etc.) and service systems (online monitoring services for the elderly, etc.) will reach 16 billion by 2025.  Smart-ware solutions, such as those that can grasp a patient’s condition via acquiring important biometric information online, are expected to rapidly rise in the future.
  • Japan’s healthtech segment will grow to USD 2 billion by 2025 in areas such as sleep-tech and baby-tech.  This technology involves sleep improvement support services (sleep diagnostic testing, bed sensors, etc.), and baby/infant apps and devices (nursing room search systems, baby monitors, video cameras, etc.).

While new products and services in AI, IoT, and robotics are being developed,  Japan’s ratio of using digital technology for health management remains at 37 percent, which is significantly lower than the global average of 60 percent.  In particular, the ratio of using online medical care, electronic health records, and wearable technology is still limited to 7 percent, 9 percent and 9 percent respectively.  Despite this current low usage, according to Accenture Japan, the country is expected to continuing shifting to increasing usage of digital health technology in the medical and nursing fields.  This provides U.S. exporters of wearable devices in disease prevention and elderly/infant monitoring services with opportunities to take advantage of this growing market.

Informa Markets Japan organizes the Pharma IT & Digital Health Expo, a comprehensive trade show that focuses on the digitalization of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry.  The next event is scheduled for April 19-23, 2023 at Tokyo Big Sight.  Buyers from the pharmaceutical and health IT sectors will attend this show that will also feature various conference and startup pavilions introducing the latest cutting-edge technologies in Japan’s digital health industry.  The show offers opportunities for U.S. exporters of digital healthcare goods related to AI, IoT, and robotics to connect with these potential buyers.

For more information about Japan’s digital health industry and the Pharma IT & Digital Health Expo, contact Commercial Service Japan at or visit