Strategic Partnership for the Nationwide Expansion of the Emergency Medical Transportation Assistance System

Nov. 18. 2020
Marubeni Corporation
Okayama University

Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter , “Marubeni”) and Okayama University Hospital, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (hereinafter, “Okayama University”), have signed a strategic partnership agreement (hereinafter, “Partnership Agreement”), through Sonae Co.,Ltd  (hereinafter, “Sonae”), a startup company originating from Okayama University, and Marubeni Power Retail Corporation (hereinafter, “Marubeni Power Retail”) with the aim of expanding the emergency medical transportation assistance system application, “iPicss®” (hereinafter, “iPicss”), which was invented by Okayama University in March 2017, in order to facilitate information sharing between regular medical institutions (hereinafter “Sending institutions”) for pregnant women and higher-order medical institutions (hereinafter “receiving institutions”).

In most cases for Japan’s perinatal (* 1) maternal and child medical field, patient information is shared during emergency transportation by faxing a letter after the patient has arrived at the receiving institution. This kind of inconvenient information transmission deficient information has caused an increase in the work burden of medical staff.Therefore, there was was a need to build a suitable system for quick and reliable information linkage that would lead to the solution of such problems.

iPicss facilitates cooperation between sending and receiving institutions by filling out a dedicated check sheet for transportation at the sending institution, and uses a smartphone at each facility to send  necessary information in advance to the receiving institution (See the figure below). In August 2017, Okayama University began considering the introduction of iPicss into the medical field, and started a demonstration project targeting all delivery facilities throughout Okayama Prefecture in May 2019. In addition, iPicss has been demonstrated to be a system that can handle information linkage between hospital and patient in the event of disaster, and can also handle the transportation of people infected by COVID-19. From next year onward, It will be fully operational as a system for linking information with the emergency services (e.g. municipal fire departments) responsible for transporting patients. These are all things that could lead to the implementation of Society 5.0 (* 2).

In this partnership agreement, as a first step, we will promote the nationwide expansion of information linkage systems utilizing iPicss and create a new platform supporting the clinical enviroment by popularizing iPicss together with Marubeni Power Retail's electricity retail services.

Marubeni's medium-term management strategy, “GC2021” states that it will strengthen its efforts in White Space with a view to future growth sectors and the construction of new business models. Combining both the Marubeni Group's comprehensive strength and Sonae's high-level medical expertise, we aim to build a foundational system that supports the medical industry while also supporting the safety and security of patients, and pursue the possibilities of new electric power service businesses.

Okayama University founded the startup company, “Sonae” in order to widely distribute support systems utilizing ICT, such as “iPicss”, as well as disseminate peace of mind, and wellness to the world. Okayama University will continue to develop the benevolent medical spirit inherited from our predecessors and the innovation that only we can offer, and work to create new value through “STI (Science, Technology, Innovation) for SDGs” that contributes to the improvement of our well-being.

(*1) perinatal:The period from 22 weeks gestation to less than 7 days after birth. This period has the highest rates of life-threatening emergencies for mothers and children.
(*2) Society5.0:The concept of a future society advocated by the Cabinet Office based on the Science and Technology Basic Plan. A new future society that balances economic development and solutions to social issues through a system that integrates cyberspace (virtual space) and physical space (real space).

■About iPicss (Figure)

About iPicss (Figure)
■Company Information
< Marubeni Power Retail >
Company Name Marubeni Power Retail Corporation
President and CEO Takeshi Yamamoto
Head Office Tokyo Nihombashi Tower, 7-1, Nihonbashi 2-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Incorporated Date Jan. 2011
Main Business Electricity trading business and its agency, brokerage, internet connection service,
sales of energy-saving equipment
< Sonae >
Company Name Sonae Co.,Ltd
President and CEO Takashi Shono
Head Office 2-26-22 Nishifurumatsu, Kita-ku, Okayama-shi, Okayama, Japan
Incorporated Date Sep. 2020
Main Business System construction business of information linkage system related to transportation of
patients, pregnant women, elderly people, new electric power agency business, etc.