||Japans society is aging rapidly, and nursing care for the elderly is a critical issue in the creation of a universal design - based society. An important event in this trend was the introduction of the Long - Term Care Insurance (LTCI) program and associated services in 2000.
Previously, care for the elderly was provided by national and local governments, but with the LTCI program, people now have a degree of choice in the services they receive. At the same time, a large number of private - sector companies have entered the elderly care arena, and a massive market has formed.
In the services market created by the LTCI program, attention is on Care Time a care work support system developed by Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. The foremost feature of this system, designed to be used by care - service providers, is the rapid response time it offers thanks to its ability to process large volumes of data quickly. This is also the companys main marketing angle for large - scale providers. It has already been installed by cabinet - order designated cities in Japan, and it is greatly helping to improve work efficiency for care service providers.
According to one social welfare corporation (a non - profit organization that provides legally defined care services) in Kanagawa Prefecture that has installed the system, Care Time has sped up data processing by a multiple of 10 compared with its previous system. The organization uses more than 200 terminals in 30 facilities, and the cost savings from improved work efficiency at such a large organization are considerable.