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Community-based healthcare design for the elderly through “field medicine”

Doctors in hospitals used to think in terms of diseases and conditions in his/her specialty and have little latitude to consider other issues. However, greater emphasis for the need for holistic medical care has increased. This represents the beginning of a transformation in the healthcare system and the evolvement of delivering a healthcare design that moves from a focus on disease care to one on maintaining health and wellness especially for the elderly.

My aim here is to discuss that the community-based healthcare design in providing field medicine is an emerging and promising concept, which addresses healthcare challenges faced in particular by the rural area in Japan.


For the future of healthcare design, look beyond the hospital

The framework of the delivery of health services differs fundamentally in the community as opposed to the hospital setting. In the hospital, the doctors lack the opportunity to invest time and effort in enquiring more about their patients’ lives and understanding the patients’ regular life routines. However in the community, the concept of field medicine (providing healthcare services outside of a hospital) is introduced particularly to the community-dwelling elderly where chronic illnesses become more prevalent. The need to integrate efforts to develop and implement both unique tools and strategies to manage quality in community-based health services is increasing. Geriatricians are also increasingly listening to the voices of the elderly as an integral consideration in the design of a community-based health design policy that bridges both the health of the elderly and the physical environment they reside in.

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The secret to living a long life

Longevity is common in Okinawa, Japan, as the people there are less prone to disease. Furthermore, Japan has the highest concentration of centenarians. See this infographic: