In China, as living standards improve, the number of diabetic patients has risen steeply to reach more than 110 million. Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to various complications, such as liver diseases, neurological diseases, and vision impairments. When any of these complications develop, patients have to visit different doctors at multiple hospitals and clinics or clinical departments to be evaluated for each symptom, which places a heavy burden on them and may deny them access to proper healthcare services that they need. Profiled here is a story of OMRON MEDICAL (Beijing) Co., Ltd. (OHC-BJ), who addresses this challenging social issue by involving medical institutions, governments, and pharmaceutical manufacturers and other related companies.
In China, it is common practice that when diabetic patients see doctors about their complications, their medical information is processed by systems unique to each clinical department. However, this greatly inconveniences the patients who have to hop between different departments, often resulting in the loss of opportunity to receive appropriate treatment in a timely manner.
Perceiving this as a common issue for their people, a team led by Zhen-Jie Li of OHC-BJ came up with the idea of establishing Metabolic Management Center (MMC), which allow doctors from different clinical departments to share patients' medical information and offer optimal services by medical experts within a single visit.
To make this brilliant plan a reality, a team had to convince numerous persons concerned to abandon practices and systems that they had long adhered to. So OHC-BJ began by explaining the importance of this project with help from its partners such as specialized research institutions and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Within a short span of one year, they participated in as much as 100 academic conferences to convey the importance of "one-stop service" that MMC could offer. It didn't take long before MMC became a buzzword among doctors who attended those conferences, which prompted local governments, ophthalmic testing equipment suppliers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical ICT companies, and others concerned to endorse and offer cooperation with the scheme.
The year 2016 saw the opening of the first MMC within a hospital, complete with testing equipment for diabetes-related complications, including blood pressure monitors, arteriosclerosis testing devices, ophthalmic diagnostic devices, and test kits.
Utilizing IoT and big data, MMC boasts a system that combines testing and treatment data taken at hospitals with blood pressure, sugar, and other data measured at home. By standardizing the management platform, MMC has made it possible to provide countrywide uniform healthcare services, while providing patients with more opportunities to visit hospitals and mitigating their burden while doing so.
MMC soon spread out throughout China. Now, MMC can be found at 484 hospitals and over 950 hospitals have expressed their intention to introduce the system.
MMC continues to resonate with an increasingly greater portion of the population.
On May 8, 2020, the first MMC Health Convenience Store, which is easy to visit for diabetic patients and directly connects data measured at home to healthcare services, was opened at one of the outlets of a leading pharmacy chain in the middle of Shanghai, China. MMC Health Convenience Store is equipped with latest medical facilities such as MMC and iHEC*1, allows patients to receive advanced medical examination including arteriosclerosis tests and funduscopic examinations at local pharmacy which were previously only available at hospitals and clinics. They are working to further enhance customers' convenience by sharing each person's ID and medical data taken at an MMC Health Convenience Store with MMC, iHEC, and other medical institutions and allowing diabetic patients to receive drugs prescribed based on clinical data without having to visit hospitals and clinics.
Furthermore, in a bid to communicate to patients the importance of receiving proper treatment by sharing healthcare data taken at home with hospitals and clinics, they exhibit and offer trials of blood pressure monitors and nebulizers from OMRON HEALTHCARE.
With these initiatives, they have enhanced convenience for patients and created new opportunities to receive advanced medical treatment, with local pharmacies serving as a hub to provide a link between patients on the one hand and hospitals and clinics on the other.
Backed by the government's Healthy China 2030 vision, smart healthcare in China is showing dramatic progress, with advanced infrastructure being built across the country.
Against this backdrop, we believe that MMC's management model using IoT and big data will become a standard for solutions to lifestyle diseases. We are expecting to open another 30 stores of MMC Health Convenience Store by the end of 2020.
Confronted by this challenging issue, Li turned to the OMRON Principles to guide him. In line with the corporate mission of achieving "innovation driven by social needs" by foreseeing trend in society to create solutions to social needs, Li was persistent, believing that MMC's smart solutions would set a model for caring for patients with lifestyle diseases. He took every opportunity to talk about his vision to form a circle of people that shared his passion. With those people helping to spread his vision, Li arrived at this marvelous solution.
It is our belief that, by being proactively involved in hypertension treatment and intervening before cerebral infarction and other events develop, we can contribute to achieve OMRON HEALTHCARE's goal of "zero cerebrovascular and cardiovascular events". Going forward, we will keep challenging ourselves as we seek to expand partnerships with healthcare providers and to make this innovative service in China a driving force for the telemedicine service that OMRON HEALTHCARE is forging ahead with.
The circle of resonance for OMRON's efforts to contribute to the healthy lives of diabetic patients in China continues to grow.