Japan’s population is aging and declining faster than that of any other country. As such, the government, research institutions and the life science industry are highly incentivized to leverage Japan’s history of technical innovation to ease this burden. One of the lowest hanging and best fruits for improving health care outcomes remains unpicked: prioritizing population health and medicine.

Population health is often confused with public health but the two ideas are not the same. Public health focuses on which drugs, vaccines and large-scale campaigns can treat or prevent a disease. By contrast, population health focuses on understanding why some people are more likely than others to get sick and identifies interventions to reduce the rate of hospitalization or pharmaceutical intervention. Elderly individuals, for example, are particularly vulnerable to chronic lifestyle diseases and are among the most likely to suffer catastrophic health consequences if they are not detected early.

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