Telehealth services see outlast in Japan

Health and Wellness Informatics News

With the rise and demand in acceptance of telemedicine, there are certain obstacles in the current policies. It makes it difficult to implement.

The rise of telehealth services is upstaging with the advancement of smartwatches, telephone, AI software, and another digital platform. To define telehealth services, it is like healthcare services but virtual. It utilizes technology to provide patients with adequate care. They feature complex considerations. Also, Japan is facing some major challenges in the evolution of the same.

The license and approval are one of the hindrances in achieving telehealth services in Japan. To point out, Japan’s Article 17 of the MPA allows the only licensed practitioner to indulge in medical practice. Therefore, it almost becomes compulsory for a telehealth service provider who is a non-physician to make sure their services don’t fall in the category of medical practice.

The court defines medical practice as all such activity that has the potential to harm humans. The harm is when conducted without utilizing proper medical techniques. However, not all healthcare activities involve medical judgment. Hence, it is more of a case-to-case.

The MHLW Telemedicine guideline can also be put to use to define the medical practice. It gives a perspective of more generic health consultation services. It states that telehealth services are telemedicine. It doesn’t fall in the arena of medical practice. And any non-physician can also provide these services. Though, it also refrains that all kind of activities vested in suggesting any disease on the basis of certain symptoms is strictly prohibited.

The real problem lies in achieving market clearance. SaMD’s subsidiary is having a hard time getting its business license. The authority needs to file telecommunication services. It requires a separate filing of telecommunication in the law. The business has a broad base and is inclusive of various factors at hand.

The law’s strict penalties also act as an obstacle in dealing with services. For any telehealth provider who violates the services, Article 17 calls for imprisonment. As a result, it becomes hard to recognize and differentiate which service is subject to license and which is not.

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