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METI to develop system for using AI to give advice on diabetes

  • August 20, 2016
  • , Yomiuri , p. 2
  • Translation

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will start to develop a system for using artificial intelligence (AI) to give advice on how to improve diabetes patients’ condition and on the prevention of the illness. This system will collect data on physical activity, food intake, weight changes, and so forth of individual patients, use AI to analyze the interrelation between various factors, and give advice on the most appropriate ways to improve each patient’s condition. The goal is to finish developing this system in FY17 in order to reduce medical expenses through the improvement of health.


Data on some 860 patients diagnosed with mild diabetes will be collected from September with the cooperation of private companies and other groups.


Scales and sphygmomanometers will be placed at these patients’ workplaces. Smart phone apps or wearable devices will be used to count their steps and measure other physical activity. Their weight and food intake will also be monitored.


Such data will be entered into a database by February next year. Based on the data, AI will be used to analyze “step count,” “weight,” and other items and come up with advice to users, such as “engage in more physical activity” or “eat less food that increases blood sugar level,” through smart phones and other means. Data collection will continue even beyond FY17, with the goal of improving the quality of AI advice.


According to the statistics of the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, there are more than 3 million diabetes patients in the country, with another 20 million potential patients.

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