Japenese city uses barcode to track elderly

World Today

Japan is taking an innovative approach to provide care for its increasing elderly population.

CGTN’s Terrence Terashima reports.

Japenese city uses barcode to track elderly

Japenese city uses barcode to track elderly

Japan is taking an innovative approach to provide care for its increasing elderly population. CGTN's Terrence Terashima reports.

The most recent government data showed that Japan’s aging population stands at 26.7 percent increasing rapidly. It is said that in a decade or two, one-in-three Japanese will be over 65.

The country is already facing shortage of care-workers and elderly homes. Many report care fatigue from households with elderly needing constant tending.

Increasing problems are cases where the elderly, suffering from dementia, wonder out of the house and are missing for hours. In many cases, it takes considerable time to identify the person.

To counter the problem, the city of Iruma introduced a new tagging system for elderlies with dementia by using a QR code sticker that can be placed on a thumb, which contains sufficient information to identify the person

Iruma city had adopted GPS trackers and stickers on footwear. But one had to rely on the person to always carry or use the same item. These QR stickers can remain attached for about two to four weeks. When a good Samaritan finds a lost elderly person, he or she can report to the police and the police can identify the person from the QR code.

City officials said that cooperation from the public was very important for this system to work.

With the fast aging society, technology will certainly play a big role in compensating for lacking manpower, in taking care of the elderlies. Certainly in Japan, use of robots, remote cameras, GPS and other technologies are being introduced for elderly care. Officials hope that these stickers will be effective in finding missing persons.