100 years of life. It can be said that it is an era in which we must face "the way we live in old age" from an early stage.

Among them, long-term care is one of the important themes for us and our families.
This time, Mr. Yoshimi Ui, the representative of aba Co., Ltd., who developed the excretion sensor "Help Pad" that detects urine and feces by smell, and Euglena Co., Ltd./the representative of Real Tech, should face each other through a dialogue. And the future. "

Children's fuzzy fear of long-term care and guilt

Akihiko Nagata (hereinafter referred to as Nagata): When I think about long-term care, I sometimes think that I'm insanely scared.

Representative Ui (hereinafter Ui):scared?

Nagata: My dad has been working as a social worker in the field of long-term care. People who like long-term care work so much that they move to a different workplace every time they get a job title, saying, "I don't like being able to get ahead and stay in the field." My mother also worked in a welfare occupation. Such parents tell their children, "If you have dementia, never take care of them."

Ui:I wonder why?

Nagata: I think I'm worried that if I can't take care of my parents, my children will have a sense of guilt. I think I can't devote myself to work 100%. "Don't care for yourself" because you think about your children. It's a good idea to enter the facility while your parents are conscious. I'm afraid that I have to deal with such communication seriously.

Ui: By the way, I also have an experience that comes to my mind. My grandmother became depressed when I was in middle school. Now I am in the facility because of dementia, but I used to take care of myself at home and my family was in a state of discomfort. That grandmother often said, "People who can work should work as hard as they can." If I was conscious, I wouldn't want to bother my family.

Yoshimi Wie (CEO of aba Co., Ltd.)
Graduated from Chiba Institute of Technology. In 2011, he established aba Co., Ltd. while attending school and became the representative director. When I was in junior high school, my grandmother developed depression and became a caregiver. From the desire to "reduce the burden on the caregiver side" gained from that experience, we proceed to the path of developing robots to support caregivers. At the special elderly nursing home, when I witnessed a spectacular site of excretion assistance by a care worker, I started developing a product that detects excretion with an odor sensor.

Nagata: There are many things you can't understand without actually taking care of yourself. I don't even know what kind of communication should be done between my family. In that sense, I may have a fuzzy sense of fear without fully understanding the actual situation.

Ui: I think everyone feels the same kind of fear. When it comes to long-term care, each family has different circumstances, and I don't think there is an "absolute solution" for every situation. Therefore, I think there are some parts that cannot be understood without facing them. However, it may be necessary to be prepared so that you will not be surprised when you face it.

I want to solve the physical rigor with technology

Nagata: By the way, how do you want to send your old age?

Ui: If I become a long-term caregiver ... Imagine at this point, I would tell the children, "I'm going to enter the facility." I want to choose a method that will not make the children in a difficult situation at that time.

Nagata:I see.

Ui: During this time, I was talking inside the company, "What will happen in 100 years?" In the future, technologies such as VR will be developed, and it may be possible to live happily while immersing yourself in the world of imagination at nursing care facilities. You may also have to think about what kind of environment you would be happy to be in.

Nagata: In my case, when I am in need of long-term care, if my consciousness is clear, I may think about my body and mind separately. I don't want my wife and children to take the trouble of physical care such as having them change their positions or change their diapers. That's what makes me feel sorry. I want to solve these parts with technology as much as possible. On the other hand, mentally I want to stay with my family all the time.


Euglena Co., Ltd./Representative of Real Tech Fund)
Graduated from Keio University Faculty of Commerce. Joined an independent private equity fund and belongs to the private equity and consulting departments. In 2008, he Our Ltd., and has been in charge of business strategy, M & A, financing, capital tie-up, public relations / IR, and management departments since the unlisted period of Our He is familiar with the strategy and finance fields that support technology, and is responsible for business development of Our Currently, he is appointed vice president and also serves as the representative of Japan's largest technical VC "Real Tech Fund".

Ui: Technology may develop in such mental and communication areas as well ... It's a difficult part.

Nagata: Each individual has a kind of religious theory in spiritual communication. Even if it's not real, some people may find it happy to have digital communication. However, as a real tech fund, we are not investing in that field right now. Invest in "things that mediate communication with people," but not in "substitutes for communication itself." There is a line drawing.

Ui: In the field of life support, think about "how the person can live in his or her own way". There may be something in common with that.

The essence is the splendor that is deeply involved in human life

Nagata: Everyone faces old age. I think that how you think about it and how you handle it will surely lead to your future. It's hard to imagine when I'm young.

Ui:That's right. It was the same as giving birth to a child, but I don't think I'm scared or essence until I experience it. There are people around me who share the joy of long-term care in the same generation, but it's hard to reach indifferent people. However, it is long-term care that people who thought "I have nothing to do" may become "related" tomorrow. A healthy parent may suddenly collapse due to a stroke. So I had to meet the care manager in a hurry and prepare various things without understanding and listening to my parents' intentions.

Nagata: We should have prior knowledge about long-term care itself. I think that the image of long-term care work is also fixed because I don't know it. When asked, "What is the beauty of a long-term care worker?", Mr. Ui, what would you say?

Ui: I don't think that is the case with work that involves deep knowledge of the other person's life history. Such a connection can be made between the staff and residents who meet at the facility. Through long-term care, it can contribute to the lives of residents as well as their families. However, as a business, only the image of "difficult work" such as changing diapers precedes, but if you solve such difficult parts more and more, it will be deeply involved in people's lives and it will be very rewarding. I think it's a fun job.

Nagata:That's right.

Ui: And, Real Tech thinks that the key to solving such a difficult part is. The long-term care industry is also moving to introduce technology to the field to improve operations, but the focus is only on “back office automation”. Is that really okay? I feel like that. I think that we can deepen our understanding through Real Tech even in the area of long-term care, where many people have vague anxieties. Since aba has that problem, we are approaching from manufacturing. As part of this, the excretion sensor wants to reduce the physical workload with the power of technology for "inexperienced people involved in long-term care."

Excretion sensor "Help Pad" that detects urine and stool by smell

Nagata: It's just "innovative technology that contributes to the future of people." Although aba is an absolutely necessary company in the world, it is the company that makes smartphone games that is easy to collect investment (laughs). In the age of 100 years, how can we reduce time and effort in the field of long-term care? The labor force will definitely decrease, so I think this is a theme that society as a whole must consider. If technology contributes to reducing the physical burden, we may realize the essential wonders of long-term care, such as the value of communication in the field.

Ui: That may start with taking care as your own.

There is no Earth Defense Force, let's change it ourselves

Nagata: Everyone thinks that there is something like "Earth Defense Force". The same is true of food issues, as well as global issues such as climate change and global warming. When I heard a lot of news, he said, "Someone somewhere, great people will do something about it." As Mr. Ui says, society will not change unless more people think that "I have to deal with this issue as well". However, I think that not only such moral stories but also entertainment is important. How can I be told that "people who care for me are cool"? I have to think about that.

Ui: I myself would like to contribute to the cool transmission of people involved in long-term care and those involved in family care. I think that the key to this is definitely Real Tech.

Nagata: Let's use Real Tech to tackle social issues such as long-term care.

* Honorific titles omitted in the text

Editing: Shinsuke Tada / Photo: Reiko Inada