Medical DX was presented at the UICC Symposium at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Japanese Association for Cancer Therapy.

Medical DX Paves the Way for Integrated Cancer Care – Closing the Care Gap! Filling the Gap in Cancer Care

Starting from April 2024, a new system for reforming the working conditions of doctors will be implemented. Amidst Japan’s period of significant transformation due to its rapidly aging population and declining birthrate, as well as advancements in healthcare system reform and digitization, there is growing attention on Medical DX. This presentation discusses the domestic and international situations regarding Medical DX.

The Asian Cancer Forum (ACF), a general incorporated association based in Tokyo, represented by Norie Kawahara (Special Appointed Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo’s Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia and Chair of the UICC Japan Committee Public Relations Committee), presented a session on “Medical DX Paving the Way for Integrated Cancer Care” at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Cancer Therapy, held on October 21, 2023 (Saturday).

Under the moderation of Yuichiro Tsuchi (Director-General of the Japanese Society of Cancer Therapy, Osaka University, Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery) and Tetsuo Noda (Chair of the UICC Japan Committee, UICC-ARO, National Cancer Center Hospital), the session on “Digital Transformation in Cancer Care” featured presentations by Takeshi Sano (Hospital Director at the Cancer Research Institute Ariake Hospital), Takaharu Sasaki (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Medical Policy Bureau, Regional Medical Planning Division) on “The Healthcare Delivery System for Cancer Care in Japan,” Teppei Sakano (CEO of Alm Corporation, ACF Director) on “The Digital Suburban Development Project and its Role in Cancer Care and International Medical Assistance,” and Norie Kawahara (ACF Chair, Tokyo University, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia) on “World Cancer Day and Bridging the Gap in Cancer Care.”

Norie Kawahara (Tokyo University, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia) mentioned, “Amid various challenges such as low birthrates, an aging population, and worsening healthcare finances due to rising medical costs, it is now the time to reflect on the regional disparities in cancer care to enhance the quality of healthcare in local communities.” She presented on the activities of ACF, which organized a symposium titled “LOCAL CANCER DAY 2022 TOYAMA-JAPAN-ASIA (LCD)” in Toyama Prefecture in November 2023, focusing on envisioning the future of cancer care as a universal theme for the entire nation.

A New Platform Supporting Regional Cancer Care

During the LCD symposium, discussions revolved around the advancement of cancer care in the face of deteriorating regional healthcare, highlighting the widening disparities in cancer care, especially in rural areas. The pressing issue of how much treatment can be accessed while living in rural areas was a central concern. Within this context, Teppei Sakano, an ACF director and CEO of Alm Corporation, garnered significant interest in his presentation on medical DX.

Taking this background into account, during the symposium, Teppei Sakano, who is also an ACF director, presented on the new services that began with “LOCAL CANCER DAY 2022.”

Alm Corporation’s solutions, which previously focused on acute medical care, have now expanded their scope to include cancer care. They announced their collaboration with the National Cancer Center to provide an online second opinion service among physicians. Through the DX Operations Center, optimization proposals for treatment plans by specialized physicians from the National Center can be delivered to regional healthcare providers for rare cancers, complications, and complex cases. It is anticipated that their model will be adopted by numerous municipalities, aligning with the Digital Suburban Development Project. Additionally, they are supporting Ukraine through remote healthcare services among physicians and the provision of advanced and emergency medical equipment. Recently, they accompanied a Japanese government delegation on a visit to Kyiv and made announcements related to medical assistance.

Community Organizations Enhancing the Sustainability of Regional Cancer Care

In the field of regional healthcare, there is increasing diversification of stakeholders, which has complicated decision-making processes. Ms. Kawahara emphasized the importance of data utilization and co-creation by health data platforms to enhance community empowerment and activate stakeholders. To promote co-creation in regional healthcare, ACF is progressing with the development of a Japanese version of “Better Together,” a resource created by The Partnering Initiative (TPI) in the UK to enhance public-private partnerships. They also outlined plans to introduce private sector participation in Universal Health Coverage (UHC) initiatives in Asia.

Furthermore, in collaboration with the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM), ACF announced plans to launch a cancer registration portal by the end of the year as part of the “BEAUTY & Health” project aimed at improving healthcare access in Malaysia.

As a member organization of the International Union Against Cancer (UICC), ACF continues to engage in policy advocacy activities based at the University of Tokyo, working across disciplines to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Asian cancer care. Leveraging their expertise in focusing on UHC for cancer care in the Asian region, they are actively working towards building a society where cancer, as a disease that can affect anyone, is supported within the community.

The activities in 2023’s activities.:Please click here.

Reference information.


This was a symposium held on November 13, 2022 (Sunday). Amidst the challenges posed by the rapid aging of the population and declining birth rates, and during a transformative period marked by healthcare system reform and digitization, the theme was “Surviving Cancer in the Community.” The goal was to address medical and societal issues related to cancer and to seek solutions. Various individuals from different positions at the global, national, and regional levels participated, and four sessions were conducted. Available for On-Demand Streaming (YouTube)

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Healthcare Professional Communication App “Join”

The Doctor to Doctor system “Join” is gaining attention as a top runner in Japan’s remote healthcare. It has been adopted by national centers (such as the National Cancer Center, Seiseikai Medical Association, National Cardiovascular Center) and universities, with 52 out of 82 universities adopting it. It is also being used by approximately 500 hospitals, mainly core hospitals, across the country, and it has been adopted in 13 prefectures for regional healthcare. Its adoption is also progressing internationally.

The Partnering Initiative (TPI)

This organization was founded in 2003 with a strong belief in cooperation among businesses, governments, NGOs, and the United Nations to achieve a common vision of a prosperous economy, thriving society, and a healthy environment.

BEAUTY & Health Program

The Astellas’ Access to Health Initiative is a project undertaken in collaboration with the National Cancer Society Malaysia to improve healthcare access.