Asia’s Largest Medical and Assistive Device Exhibition
Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo, Japan
October 7-9, 2015
H.C.R. Highlights Creative Responses to the Challenges of Our Rapidly Aging Society
The Int. Home Care & Rehabilitation Exhibition was held on October 7-9, 2015, at Tokyo Big Sight in Tokyo, Japan. Known as H.C.R., this exhibition showcases over 20,000 home care and rehabilitation products, and medical and assistive equipment.
A Plethora of Niche Market Products for Home Care and Rehabilitation
H.C.R. featured a wealth of innovative and inventive responses to the need for devices and solutions enabling people to live independently even with a disability. Everything from a wide range of full-featured, high-tech wheelchairs and assistive beds, to specialty items for the cognitively impaired were on view. Many disabled visitors at the show were able to experience hands-on demos and product testing right in the booths.
One brilliant idea on display was a GPS system encased into a shoe, to be worn by a person with a cognitive disability. This was the brainchild of Cherry BPM KK (Japan), represented by Ms. Tamae Yamada, GPS Product Planning and Sales. “We thought this product would fulfill the need for caregivers to keep cognitively impaired elderly people safe. They go out roaming and get lost so often,” she said. “A shoe equipped with GPS allows families and caregivers to quickly locate and safely return a wandering patient. Instead of the situation becoming a stressful emergency, the patient may merely remark that they really enjoyed their walk!”
Mr. Yasuyuki Kobayashi of the New Product Development Group of Luminous Japan KK (Japan) was displaying a unique assistive device: a gadget that allowed a person with poor motor control to play a full guitar chord with only one finger! Mr. Kobayashi explained the rationale behind this device: “the joy of being able to play again can have a positive impact—it helps motivate people to keep at their rehabilitation therapy,” he replied. “Being able to enjoy your hobbies is an important part of quality of life.”
Exhibitors Acutely Aware of the High Standards Required for Health Care Products in the Growing Japan Market
All exhibitors, domestic and foreign, were highly aware of Japan’s leadership role in dealing with the problems of an aging society. “Japan is important,” said Mr. Ryan Webb, Director of Wheelchair Sales and Marketing of Spinergy Corporation (US). “The elderly population is rapidly increasing, they’re very health conscious, and the government takes care of its people.” Mr. Matthias Brumm, CEO of Meyra GmbH (Germany), who manufacture wheelchairs and rehabilitation aids, agreed with this assessment. “People are interest in maintaining good health here, and are willing to pay high prices for good quality.”
But the Japanese market is tough. Mr. Louis Lo, President of Vers Tech Science Co., Ltd. (Taiwan) noted that “Japanese regulations are very strict. At first we had trouble writing the catalog, because without actual clinical test data, the government wouldn’t let us say our products helped ‘cure’ or even ‘improved the condition’ of the patient. We’ve learned a lot through years of meeting their rigorous demands.”
One of those helping to set these high quality standards was Ms. Yumi Ebata of the Kawasaki Innovation Standard Council of Kawasaki City (Japan). The goal of Ms. Ebata and her colleagues is to establish high standards for welfare and assistive devices, along with a system that provides certification for high quality products, which will be recognized not just in Kawasaki City, but all over Japan. “We support independent living for the elderly and the disabled,” she declared. “If, by even a small degree, these devices can help people care for themselves, this frees up caregivers to help even more people.” Any health products sold in Japan, even imported products, may apply for this certification.
H.C.R. Draws Large Crowds but Provides Easy Access for the Disabled Too
Said Mr. Renchang Hu, Chairman of the Zhejiang Jiecang Linear Motion Technology Co., Ltd. (China), “H.C.R. is very large, has excellent name recognition and good visitor drawing power”. Mr. Hu’s opinion was shared by many exhibitors. “Very international, many demos, lots of buzz!” said one exhibitor. And Mr. Mert Sanay, Export Sales Executive for Gentug Corporation (Turkey) was pleased to say that “H.C.R.’s operation and personnel are all very professional.” In the opinion of Mr. Thanasis Bouzoubardis, Managing Director International of The Hygenic Corporation (US), “the H.C.R. show is very friendly to overseas exhibitors.”
At the same time, as we are all becoming more aware of the need for public facilities accessible to people of all levels of ability, the H.C.R. exhibition sets a good example of how to do it right. Not a small part of the exhibitors’ praise was due to the outstanding layout of the show, which gave ample room for wheelchairs and other assistive devices. Mr. Andreas Rickman, VD/CEO of ComfortSystem Scandinavia AB (Sweden), which makes bedding and mattresses, emphasized this point. “The floor plan is nice,” he remarked, “because it includes lots of aisle space compared to other shows. It shows good consideration for the safety of people in wheelchairs.”
If you have a particular niche product that you’re eager to introduce to the home care and rehabilitation market, you should think hard about attending next year’s H.C.R.. Doing well while doing good is what H.C.R. is all about.
(42nd Int. Home Care & Rehabilitation Exhibition)
|Dates||October 7-9, 2015|
|Frequency||Annually (42nd time in 2015)|
|Venue||Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo, Japan|
|Exhibitor Totals||522 exhibitors (Overseas: 61)|
|Visitor Totals||119,075 visitors|
|Ticketing||Free (No pre-registration necessary)|
Health and Welfare Information Association
Japan National Council of Social Welfare
H.C.R. 2015 Organizer’s Office