The PHC Group works to offer solutions for various social problems encountered in the healthcare and research fields through four core businesses including diabetes management, diagnostics, life sciences, and healthcare services.
Accurate Diabetes Diagnosis and New Treatment Approaches
As our population is aging on a global scale, the nature of disease has also changed as seen with a dramatic increase in lifestyle-related diseases and cancers. In particular, we see that with a disease like diabetes that is on the rise around the world, blood glucose monitoring is an absolute requirement. And especially when injecting insulin, it is essential to measure accurate blood glucose levels using high-precision blood glucose monitoring systems so that the correct insulin dosage is given. From 1991 when we commercialized the world’s first electrochemical automatic absorption type sensor, now the world standard for blood glucose monitoring systems, we have been improving blood glucose monitoring systems in terms of greater precision and simpler operation for medical institutions and patients, contributing to diabetes diagnosis and treatment in medical institutions worldwide. Our blood glucose monitoring systems support diabetes patients’ daily treatments with our blood glucose monitoring technology recognized for its high precision through independent accuracy assessment by the US Diabetes Technology Society in 2017 (*1).
We have recently been promoting more effective products and services for reducing hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia occurrence frequency by directly sending patients’ accurate blood glucose value data measured by our blood glucose monitoring systems using the wifi function to connect to insulin pumps and enabling the correct quantity of insulin injected by correcting linked CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) values and also proposing self-management methods according to each patient by analyzing their daily blood glucose levels through our blood glucose self-managing app developed for use overseas.
(*1) Diabetes Technology Society is a nonprofit organization working to develop and disseminate devices for diabetes. Their independent assessment conducted in 2017 has shown that the CONTOUR®NEXT BGMS sold in overseas markets by Ascensia Diabetes Care Holdings AG, a wholly owned subsidiary of PHC Holdings Corporation, received a 100% data point rating.
Contributing to Improving Dosing Adherence and Patient QOL
We contribute to medical institutions and patients with other innovative medical devices as well. Growth hormone therapies can cause fear and strong reactions among children undergoing treatment as well as place a burden on those administering therapies. This raises concern in dosing adherence consistency and the adverse effects on QOL for children. We developed the industry’s first motorized drug delivery device to make injections easier for patients and contribute to dosing adherence by reducing the burden of injections for those treating children and ease patient worries as well. We have also developed a dedicated smartphone app for interconnecting data that allows checking dosing history and are presently conducting demonstration experiments for practical use. We are also working on initiatives for treating other diseases and improving QOL for patients through data linkage solutions fully using high-precision monitoring and IoT technologies.
For Active Healthcare Development and Global Environmental Protection
The start of our life sciences business was the launch of pharmaceutical refrigerators in 1966. Since then we have been providing Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers used for the long-term storage of cells and specimens and other equipment for preservation, incubation, biosafety and sterilization including CO2 incubators for cell and tissue culture in more than 110 countries and regions around the world. The equipment has applications in life sciences research for drug development, regenerative medicine, gene treatment, and cell therapies, helping healthcare develop toward a society of health and longevity. Against this background of progress in healthcare, science and technology, global warming-induced climatic changes as well as harmful influences on ecosystems, an issue every corporate today must consider is to engage in business activities aiming to create a sustainable global environment by suppressing greenhouse effect gas emissions. We focus on developing environmentally-conscious life sciences products having as low an environmental impact as possible and contribute to healthcare development and global environmental protection. We utilize energy-efficient non-CFC natural refrigerant with low environmental impact in our Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers and pharmaceutical refrigerators that also use inverter compressors. The energy-saving performance of these products promptly gained certification of “International ENERGY STAR Program (*4)” and is highly evaluated by third party organizations.
●Products using non-CFC natural refrigerant
(*4) International saving-energy system for office equipment. The standard for power consumption when products are operating, in sleep mode, and off. The top 25% of products with superior energy saving performance that meets the criteria are approved to use the "International Energy Logo.”
Challenges to New Solution Supports Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy Research
As new fields of research in life sciences regarding the development of pharmaceutical products make progress, great expectations are held for cell therapies as solutions for diseases previously considered difficult to cure. It follows then that solutions to culture high-quality cells more effectively and safely become indispensable. To satisfy this requirement, we developed the Cell Processing Center (*5) in 2000 ahead of other companies and have been supporting research in regenerative medicines and cell therapies by introducing innovative devices such as the Cell Processing Work Stations (*6). In 2018 we opened an R&D facility in Shonan Health Innovation Park (Shonan iPark) to work on developing a totally new approach for cell culture that supports highly advanced healthcare.
(*5) Cell Processing Center (CPC): Dedicated cleanroom to handle cells
(*6) Cell Processing Work Station (CPWS System): Compact equipment to facilitate a sterile environment for cell manipulation
Developing New Solution Services for Quality Management of Pharmaceutical Products
With the Good Distribution Practice Law from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare taking effect in December 2018 and advanced medical treatments such as specialty pharmaceutical products and regenerative medicine, the advance of standard distribution operation including stricter quality management and information management is needed. Our response to such demands of society are to develop a platform to provide safe and secure pharmaceutical products for patients. This includes new distribution solution services using IoT technology to manage the entire distribution channel seamlessly from pharmaceutical companies and drug wholesalers to medication delivery to patients through cooperation with leading drug wholesalers.
Our aim is creating a sustainable global environment and we will contribute to cutting-edge research that will realize next-generation healthcare, as well as developing new solutions to meet customer needs.
Improving Healthcare Work Efficiency and Services
In 1972 we developed and launched Japan's first medical-receipt computer to streamline and increase efficiency of complicated medical paperwork in medical institutions. Since then, we have leveraged our accumulated experience and knowhow to improve work efficiency for healthcare professionals and medical services to patients by delivering healthcare IT products such as electronic patient record systems and electronic medication history systems for clinics, small to medium hospitals and retail pharmacies.
As populations rapidly age, healthcare services are also changing forms and diversifying. These conditions require more efforts to reduce burdens for healthcare professionals in severe working environments, improve work efficiency and provide higher quality healthcare services for patients. We provide solution services including electronic patient record systems that improve the work process for doctors and nurses, comprehensive healthcare services for home care patients to cope with increasing home care treatment year after year, software for medication adherence to streamline pharmacists’ work in retail pharmacies and to improve face-to-face communication with patients. Other developments include online management for prescribed medicine home delivery that helps prevent treatment interruptions for patients who have mobility issues with many hospital visits. We also have linked telemedicine technology with our electronic patient record systems through our information/communications technology. This will enable patients having mobility issues with many hospital visits to prevent treatment interruptions as well as help us with continuous data management.
For Achieving High-Quality Healthcare by Utilizing Healthcare Data
From a medium to long-term perspective, nationwide initiatives to use cutting-edge technology such as AI and Big Data to extend healthy life expectancy have started. From 2018 we have been building a foundation for collecting medical information and secondary use in accordance with The Next Generation Medical Infrastructure Act by linking our Electronic Patient Record Systems for clinics to “Millennial Medical Record” (*2) developed by Japan Medical Network Association (*3). Our Electronic Patient Record Systems are expected to be utilized for the secondary use of medical data to achieve more effective medicine dosage and to help the research and development of new drugs.
With a quick grasp of national healthcare policies and changing healthcare professional and patient needs, we remain committed to developing innovative products and services to create environments in which any patient can receive appropriate healthcare and nursing-care services, and to help bring about a society with more effective extended healthy life expectancy.
(*2) Medical database developed and operated by Japan Medical Association Network that is a medical information collaboration platform for accumulating information on personal healthcare and health in order to refer, utilize, and share it.
(*3) A non-profit organization that consists of medical professionals from multiple universities and institutes including Emeritus Professor Hiroyuki Yoshihara from Kyoto University and Miyazaki University, and Professor Kenji Araki from Miyazaki University as board members.