Online service to make health checks easier

by Shusuke Murai

Staff Writer

Undergoing a health examination at a hospital may be a burden for people in today’s fast-paced world.

But a simple examination kit, by phone company KDDI Corp., that delivers the health results online could soon change all that.

The kit, which is branded as Smaho de Dokku (Health Examination With Your Smartphone), will allow customers to get a checkup using the Internet, the company said Monday.

Until March 2016, the service will be provided for free to people covered by 20 municipal insurers and two health insurance unions. A ¥4,980 fee applies to other customers.

“As people’s awareness of living longer with a more healthy lifestyle is rising, we came up with this service to offer busy people an opportunity to check their health status with ease by using their smartphones,” KDDI spokeswoman Yuri Horiuchi said.

After ordering a personal self-examination kit, which is provided by Leisure Inc., a health care promoter working with KDDI, customers follow instructions to take a blood sample. They must then send the sample to a testing center managed by health care facility operator Eil Inc.

After a week, customers receive an email containing a link to a website with which they can check the results of the blood work.

Based on 14 different indexes, including blood sugar, uric acid and fat levels, a customer’s risk of obesity, stroke and kidney dysfunction are ranked on a scale from A to D. The results come with medical advice for each risk factor.

Japan boasts one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world with an average of 79.55 years for men and 86.30 years and for women.

But Horiuchi said the time a person is actually “healthy” is significantly shorter. On average, men are healthy for 70.42 years and women for 73.62 years, according to the health ministry, meaning that many people live for a decade or more with some sort of ailment.

Shortening this gap allows people to improve their quality of life, while reducing the health care costs, a ministry report said.

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