Pioneering information infrastructures for the aging society

The need for qualified nurses and elderly care providers is growing in Japan and one company that has realized the demand for an efficient coordination of the efforts is the SMS Company Ltd. Since its start in 2004, the company has expanded the venture portfolio to focus on building information structures for the aging society, including placement services, online job-search and community-websites for nursing-care, medical and other senior-targeted markets. The social media platforms they provide enable care givers to exchange information about challenges, solutions and opportunities on a daily basis. It also helps employers to identify new employees and to fill their vacancies faster and more efficiently.

We meet with Reiji Yamanaka and Eric Iwaya, Leaders of the Incubation Group at the SMS Co. Business Development Headquarters who explain that the company is assuming an innovative approach to collect, organize and transfer data. The current information about elderly care is scattered and the asymmetry of information is significant, so the market opportunity is vast as the nursing and medical care expenditures grow when the population ages. The SMS platforms, Nurse Jinzai-Bank, the platform for long-term placement of nurses, Nurse-senka Community, the community website for nurses and nursing-school students and Kaigo-Job, the online job-search website for nursing-care-related professionals are examples of innovative means to connect the different stakeholders in elderly care. SMS Co. also offers platforms for family care givers as well as certified care-managers. The IT solutions become market places, knowledge banks, recruitment vehicles and discussion forums.

Reiji Yamanaka and Eric Iwaya mention that the IT-literacy of the nurses is an important factor but the platforms can also be navigated through mobile phones which makes the services easy to use and accessible to a wider audience. The company has supporting call centers which help with placements and the other services provided. With its holistic approach, SMS Co. helps the ecosystem of care givers and elderly care employers come together. And Japan is not the only country in need of these services. SMS Co. has their target set on providing infrastructure for the aging societies in all Asian countries.

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About Claudia Olsson

Claudia Olsson is the Managing Director of ACCESS Health International Southeast Asia, working on elderly care and innovations for the aging world. Contact her at claudia.olsson@accessh.org

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