TRYT Announces the Start of Effectiveness Verification of its Support for the Introduction of Nursing Care Robots
Aiming to Improve Labor Shortage and Work Efficiency by Extracting Issues and Selecting Robots for Each Facility
TRYT Inc. (Head Office: Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture; Tokyo Head Office: Shinagawa-Ku, Tokyo; CEO: Hidetaka Sasai), which oversees the recruiting and temporary staffing business groups in the medical and welfare fields, will start testing the effectiveness of activities to support the introduction of robotic devices for nursing care (hereinafter, “nursing care robots”) to nursing care facilities. Before starting this testing, TRYT signed an advisory agreement with aRbot Corp. (Head Office: Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture; CEO: Hirohisa Hirukawa), which possesses specialized knowledge in nursing care robots.
Labor shortage in the nursing care industry and challenges in introducing nursing care robots
It is estimated that the number of nursing care workers required in fiscal 2040 will be 2.8 million and that there will be a labor shortage of about 690,000 workers based on the 2.11 million nursing care workers in FY2019*1. This shortage in the nursing care industry is predicted to increase even further in conjunction with the aging of Japanese society. To solve this national issue, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare implements comprehensive measures such as improving the treatment of nursing care workers, developing and securing diverse human resources, promoting workplace retention and improving productivity, and developing an environment for accepting foreign human resources.
The use of nursing care robots has been cited as one measure for promoting workplace retention of nursing care workers and improving productivity. A wide variety of devices have been developed and their usage has been promoted. The use of nursing care robots is expected to reduce the physical/mental burden and work burden of nursing care workers, reduce worker turnover and achieve long-term workplace retention, and increase the productivity of nursing care facilities by heightening work efficiency. However, about 80% of nursing care facilities have yet to introduce nursing care robots. There is a wide range of challenges in introducing nursing care robots. In particular, the cost of introducing these robots is an area of great focus. Another urgent issue to be resolved is the lack of a system for making an overall judgment of the situation at each facility (for example, uncertainty in the realization of work improvements; uneasiness regarding the selection of appropriate equipment, and the need to master new technology) and for receiving specific and comprehensive support for the introduction.
Details of testing the effectiveness of support for the introduction of nursing care robots
In the testing that will be started, TRYT will implement the following items to confirm the form of specific support for the introduction of nursing care robots that will reduce the work burden and improve the work efficiency of nursing care workers. Based on an agreement with aRbot, the testing will be based on advice from Hirohisa Hirukawa, Director of the Robot Innovation Research Center at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), and Yukio Honda, Advisor to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, both of whom possess specialized knowledge in the utilization of nursing care robots. Nursing care robot manufacturers and nursing care facilities will also cooperate in the testing.
(1) Identify issues based on operation analysis and set goals for addressing those issues
(2) Select nursing care robots in line with improvement goals
(3) Support the redefinition of operation flow and on-site operations based on the use of robots
(4) Support the continued implementation of the newly defined flow and operations
The TRYT Group has contributed to solving the problem of labor shortages through the business of recruiting and temporary staffing for the medical and welfare industries at our group company TRYT Career Inc. As the Japanese population ages, it will be difficult to rapidly remedy the labor shortage in nursing care by increasing the number of workers. To solve this problem, it is necessary to simultaneously improve the retention rate and work efficiency of workers. Through this testing, TRYT will clarify the specific process from introduction to utilization for the effective use of nursing care robots. This will reduce the burden on nursing care workers and improve their work efficiency. In this way, we will strive to contribute to further increasing the appeal of nursing care work.
Comment from Hirohisa Hirukawa, President of aRbot Corp.
The Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) has supported the development of nursing care robots through initiatives such as the Project to Promote the Development, Etc., of Robotic Devices for Nursing Care, and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has promoted the spread of nursing care robots. However, the implementation of nursing care robots is proceeding too slowly. In this testing, I used my experience of working at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) to resolve issues related to the introduction of nursing care robots by examining methods of utilizing nursing care robots and organizing the methods of selecting robots according to the introduction goals.
<Career Summary for Hirohisa Hirukawa>
CEO of aRbot Corp. Has held positions such as Director of the Robot Innovation Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), and Project Leader of the Project to Promote the Development and Introduction of Robotic Devices for Nursing Care by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Currently serves as a Guest Researcher at the Department of Information Technology and Human Factors, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), and as a Science and Technology Researcher in Research and Development Grants for Longevity Science, Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).
Comment from Yukio Honda, Director at aRbot Corp.
The number of elderly people who become frail due to the effects of COVID-19 is rising, and the problem of chronic nursing care labor shortages is expected to become increasingly serious in the future. These attempts by TRYT to clarify issues in the introduction of nursing care robots and to verify effective support for introduction have the potential to greatly improve productivity in the nursing care field and realize a high standardization of nursing care quality through scientific nursing care. I hope that these activities will be a decisive effort in resolving social issues such as the shortage of human resources and the improvement of nursing care quality.
<Career Summary for Yukio Honda>
Director of aRbot Corp. Has held positions such as Director of Panasonic Corporation’s Robot Development Center, Visiting Professor at Osaka Electro-Communication University and Osaka Prefecture University Graduate School, and Professor at Osaka Institute of Technology. Program officer of the AMED Project to Promote the Development and Standardization of Robotic Devices for Nursing Care. Currently serves as a Specially-Appointed Researcher at The Research Center into Artifacts, Center for Engineering, The University of Tokyo, and as a Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University.
*1 The number of long-term care workers necessary to implement the plan for the 8th Long- term Care Insurance Project; announced by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on July 9, 2021