As the world deals with aging populations, the Harvard professor and veteran CIO looks at how Japan has the urgency, vision and support to change care delivery models in ways that other countries would be smart to emulate. As the International Healthcare Innovation Professor at Harvard Medical School, I travel 400,000 miles each year, studying the social, cultural, political, economic, and technological aspects of healthcare delivery throughout the world. In the past year, I visited 14 countries.Every society has unique strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. However, healthcare challenges are very similar around the globe. In my view, Japan will emerge as the leading learning laboratory for digital health innovation, providing the world with technology and policy lessons learned.In most countries, societies are aging. Japan, Sweden, Germany, Italy, and the U.S. have or will soon have more than 25 percent of their populations over the age of 65. At the same time that the population is aging and consuming more healthcare, birth rates are falling such that there will be fewer young workers paying for the care of the aging. And to make matters worse, medical schools are not graduating enough general practioners (also called primary caregivers) to meet the rising demand for care management.

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