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Business

Japanese businesses to pool employee health info

TOKYO -- Health care device makers Terumo and Tanita have joined with 12 other Japanese companies to form an information-sharing consortium for workplace wellness programs.

     The organization, announced Monday, will provide anonymized data on eight indicators from some 300,000 employees and family members. The information will include not only such physical measures as weight, blood pressure and blood sugar, but also behavioral indicators like daily step counts, smoking rates and checkup frequency. It will be used to draft effective corporate health policies and allow comparisons across companies.

     Committees for each of the eight data sets will draw on existing company policies to create and refine wellness programs, including efforts to encourage walking and discourage smoking. The panels will also analyze the information to provide feedback on the effectiveness of corporate programs that grow out of the effort.

     Workplace wellness programs help improve productivity and lower medical insurance payouts. Terumo Chairman Koji Nakao, the consortium's administrative leader, expressed his hope of enabling "all of our member companies to share their own programs and implement each other's successful workplace health promotion policies."

     Initial members also include ABC Cooking Studio, NTT Docomo, Omron, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, Green House, Dai-ichi Life Insurance, Dai Nippon Printing, Teijin, Nitori Holdings, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings, Lixil Group and Renaissance. Companies beyond the original 14 will be allowed to participate.

(Nikkei)

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