Director’s Greeting センター長の挨拶

センター長

   In the 21st century, societies worldwide are undergoing dramatic changes. One of these is undoubtedly the growth of a ‘longevity society’ in developed countries. Our country’s longevity is moving into uncharted territory. It is anticipated that the over 65-year-olds will surpass 33% of the population in 2035, while the proportion of those over 80 will be almost 14%. The main driver of this ‘longevity society’ is the advances that have been made in science. In the field of medicine, it is evident that the development of vaccines and antibiotics and the use of general anesthesia have played a big role. But in addition to the progress of medical science, dentistry and pharmacy, advances in engineering and information science – such as X‐rays, electrocardiograms, CT, MRI and remote diagnosis systems – have also had a major impact.
   However, if we understand that we are entering an unprecedented ‘aging society’, not merely a ‘longevity society’, then this gives us a very different perspective. In the near future, we are bound to face considerable problems due to a decrease in the working-age population and nursing workforce, and a decline in birth rates, along with a rise in the cost of social insurance and changing disease patterns. I believe that further developments in science are the only way we can solve these problems in this unprecedented ‘aging society’.
   The Center for Advanced Medical Engineering and Informatics, established by Osaka University in 2004, trained many professionals through a number of educational programs, such as joint research and development projects, which aimed to advocate an interdisciplinary approach. It featured an educational program for engineering and information technologists to expand their medical knowledge, as well as a program for medical professionals to learn advanced engineering, information science and technology.
   In 2015, the Center was reorganized into the Global Center for Medical Engineering and Informatics (MEI3 Center), to expand the range of its activities to the global level. It is quite important for us to work in close collaboration with the wider research community, not only in medical science, dentistry, pharmacy, engineering, and information science, but also in the field of liberal arts. We intend to achieve progress through supporting human resource development, closer university-industry collaboration, and the creation of new industries. The challenges we are facing are not peculiar Japanese matters, but will be global matters in the near future. We need to tackle these growing problems by using the power of science. We therefore greatly appreciate your continuous support and encouragement for the Global Center for Medical Engineering and Informatics.

Director of MEI3 Center, Yasushi Sakata

 21世紀に入り、社会は大きく変容しようとしています。その一つが先進国における「長寿社会」です。我が国の「長寿社会」は未知の領域に突入しました。65歳以上の高齢者人口は、2035年には33%を超えると予想され、80歳以上も約14%に達する見込みです。このような「長寿社会」を達成できた大きな理由の一つは「科学の力」です。医療の分野だけを取り上げても、ワクチン・抗生物質の発見、全身麻酔法の確立など医歯薬分野のみならず、レントゲン写真・心電図からCT、MRIとその遠隔診断など工学・情報科学の進歩も貢献していることは言うまでもありません。しかし、この「長寿社会」を「超高齢化社会」と言い換えると、言葉の持つ雰囲気は全く変わります。来るべき「超高齢化社会」では、同時に進行する少子化と相まって、労働・介護人口の減少、疾病構造の変化に伴う社会保障費の増大など、多くの課題を抱えています。この「超高齢化社会」の課題を解決する方法は、やはりさらなる「科学の力」の発展以外にはないと考えます。

 大阪大学国際医工情報センター(MEI3センター)は、平成16年に設立された大阪大学臨床医工融合研究教育センター(MEIセンター)を前身としています。領域の壁を超えた学際分野の開拓を目指した共同研究開発プロジェクト、医療に通じた工学・情報科学技術者、先進的工学・情報科学技術の知識を持った医療従事者の育成を目指したさまざまな人材育成プログラムを実施し、多くの修了生を社会に送り出しました。平成27年には国際医工情報センターと改組・改名され、その活躍の場を国際的に展開しています。
 今後も医歯薬工情報学にとらわれず、人文系も含めた広い研究コミュニティを基本に、人材育成、シーズニーズマッチの推進、産学連携の強化、新規産業の創成と繋げ、今後日本、そして世界が直面する多くの課題に「科学の力」をもって取り組んでいきたいと考えております。新生MEI3センターに対し関係各位のご指導ご鞭撻を賜りますよう、よろしくお願い申し上げます。

センター長 坂田泰史

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