Director’s Greeting センター長の挨拶




センター長 坂田泰史

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