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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
April 24, 2020

New publication on Telehealth Networks in Japan’s Regions

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine and telecare receive particular attention as ways to avoid infections and to protect vulnerable groups. In fact, several municipalities and prefectures in Japan have already introduced telehealth networks to link local healthcare institutions and medical practitioners. In her latest publication, Susanne Brucksch examines how these networks promote the establishment of “Regional Integrated Healthcare Systems” and generate synergies between medical and long-term care regarding healthcare staff, services, and infrastructure. The chapter ‘Sustaining Healthcare in Japan’s Regions: The Introduction of Telehealth Networks’ contains findings from an interview study (2017) on two cases regarding the provision of and access to healthcare services, while referring to the theoretical concept of socio-spatial-digital proximity by N. Oudshoorn (2011). Overall, the findings suggest that the telehealth infrastructure is a necessary precondition to promote and to initiate collaboration between various healthcare institutions in order to establish a regional healthcare system.

This chapter is part of the volume Japan’s New Ruralities. Coping With Decline in the Periphery (Routledge), co-edited by W. Manzenreiter, R. Lützeler, and S. Polak-Rottmann, and draws on Susanne’s research projects on Ageing in Japan and Biomedical Engineering in Japan.