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Startups to gain better access to Japanese medical records

Certification program underway to ensure privacy protection

Faced with a rapidly aging population, Japan hopes that technological innovation, such as this robotic rehab device developed by Toyota Motor, will extend healthy life spans.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan will make it easier for startups and other technology companies to gain access to medical records as part of an effort to drive innovation and spur investments in the health care sector.

To ensure that businesses handle personal health information appropriately, a certification program will be set up by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which has requested 1.1 billion yen ($9.62 million) as part of its fiscal 2019 budget to help fund the program.  A panel of experts will hammer out rules governing privacy, ethics and other considerations.

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