(1) 包括的フレイル評価手法(HaaS)の開発
Development of a comprehensive “Health-tech as a Service” (HaaS) frailty assessment system



What is frailty?

Frailty is a new geriatric concept, which refers to a condition in which the body and mind have deteriorated due to ageing. If frailty is left untreated, it eventually shifts to a state requiring long-term care. However, since it is also reversible if caught in the intermediate stage, "frailty prevention" is extremely important. Frailty consists of six dimensions; (1) “physical frailty” in which physical functions are weakened, (2) “cognitive and psychological frailty” in which cognitive functions and mental faculties decline, (3) “social frailty” in which the frequency of interaction with others decreases, (4) “oral frailty” that causes oral disability, (5) “spiritual frailty” that involves loss of the sense of purpose in life, and (6) “malnutrition” which causes sarcopenia (decrease in muscle mass). Therefore, frailty refers to a state of multidimensional dysfunction that is a complex combination of the abovementioned six categories.



Prevalence of frailty in Japan

According to a meta-analysis by Kojima et al. (2017) from 2000 to 2016, the prevalence of physical frailty among older people in Japan was 7.4%, that for pre-frailty was 48.1%, and healthy older adults accounted for 44.4%. On the other hand, according to a report by the Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatrics and Gerontology Center, which analyzed a 2012 nationwide panel survey of the older population, the physical frailty rate was 8.7%, that for pre-frailty was 40.8%, and healthy people accounted for 50.5%. Including pre-frailty, about half of older people were observed to be in a state of physical frailty, and we can see that there is a wide range of latent risks that lead to the need for long-term care. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, it is clear that frailty and pre-frailty are widespread in the post-COVID world, as staying at home among older adults became normal and many local governments canceled or scaled back their frailty prevention programs.


フレイル急増は要介護者の増加に直結し、延いては医療費・介護費の増額をもたらし、介護者のみならず国の社会保障費の負担増も招きます。その一方で、フレイル予防は対処可能なコスト抑制の防衛策です。そこで私たちは、デジタル技術を積極的に活用し、フレイルを可能な限り客観的に評価し、結果を可視化できるシステム(HaaS; Health-tech as a Service)を開発しています。上記のフレイルの6次元(身体的、栄養、認知心理的、社会的、口腔、生きがい)のすべてを包括的かつできるだけ客観的に評価します。また、フレイルの要素毎に評価を判定し、可視化して高齢者に理解しやすい結果と個別アドバイスを還元するシステムを開発しています。

Development of the HaaS

The rapid increase in frailty is directly linked to an increase in the number of people requiring long-term care, which in turn leads to an increase in medical and nursing care costs, and results in an increase in social security costs borne by not only caregivers but also the national government. On the other hand, frailty prevention is a manageable cost mitigation strategy. Therefore, we have developed the system called HaaS, that actively utilizes digital technology, produces as objective an evaluation of frailty as possible, and produces a visualization of the results. All six dimensions of frailty (physical, nutritional, cognitive/psychological, social, oral, and spiritual) are evaluated as comprehensively and objectively as possible. In addition, we are developing a system that evaluates each element of frailty, visualizes it, and returns results and individual advice that are easy for the elderly to understand.