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Digital Transformation for Aging Society


Theme Leader :
Shuichi Obuchi, P.T., Ph.D.
Vice-Chief Researcher :
Hisashi Kawai, Ph.D.
Researcher :
Manami Ejiri, Ph.D.
Adjunct Researcher :
Takeshi Kera, P.T., Ph.D.


prevention of dependence on long-term care, simple preventive evaluation, daily living walking speed, action research

Major Research Titles

  1. 1.Development of preventive evaluation methods
  2. 2.Action research for prevention of dependence on long-term care
  3. 3.Research for overcoming social, economic and health disparity among elderly living in metropolitan areas


This research theme aims to develop an intervention for individuals unwilling to participate in preventive activities for dependent life despite being assessed as having a high-risk of frailty. In our survey that investigated older residents residing in urban areas, 51.9% were deficient in social interaction, although only 5.8% of respondents had impairment of IADL (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living). We speculated that the deficient in social interaction is caused by their lack of a role to fulfill in their local areas. Thus, our research theme focuses on preventive activity starting from social interaction (creating roles).
Promotion of social interaction is based on “social cohesion and trust”, however, if attendants could not respond to their roles, that may facilitates “informal social control” and isolation, and it comes an adverse effect. Therefore, we aim to intensively study an expert support system that can avoid such an adverse effect.
We will develop a preventive program in which experts and residents can solve local issues together using the “community as partner” model. We also intend to develop a training program that enables residents to provide service to users in the day-service centers as sub-staff. We will verify the efficacy of those programs through implementing action research or comparing to other researches.
Furthermore, we will develop in-home preventive evaluation methods. Using ICT (Information and Communication Technology), we will develop simple evaluation of walking and cognitive function. We expect that these devices will promote the understanding of preventive activities even in the younger generation.

Using a longitudinal study design, we also explore the correlation between economic and social disparity on the health of elderly living in metropolitan areas. With rapid social structure changes likely in the near future, we believe it will affect the health of seniors, particularly those who have difficulty adapting to change. The main target of this study are urban dwelling seniors who have dropped out of previous studies. These seniors demonstrate difficulty adjusting to changes in their health and living environment, putting them at higher risk of social isolation. Through cooperation with local governments, we can determine use-patterns of social resources - such as medical treatment, care, welfare, and community activities- by city-dwelling seniors, determining those who are at high risk for becoming socially isolated.
This research is conducted in close cooperation with our institute and hospital section. By cooperating with local governments in Tokyo, we will not only be able to present the issues of isolated elderly, but additionally develop a new model of local community services that address this need. We will furthermore collaborate with private enterprises and groups constructing of a social support network for urban dwelling elderly to develop an implementation system for action research.


  1. 1. Takeshi Kera, Hisashi Kawai, Hirohiko Hirano, Motonaga Kojima, Yutaka Watanabe, Keiko Motokawa, Yoshinori Fujiwara, Kazushige Ihara, Hunkyung Kim, Shuichi Obuchi: Definition of respiratory sarcopenia with peak expiratory flow rate, J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2019 Feb 5. pii: S1525-8610(18)30720-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2018.12.013. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. 2. Ryota Sakurai, Hisashi Kawai, Hiroyuki Suzuki, Susumu Ogawa, Hunkyung Kim, Yutaka Watanabe, Hirohiko Hirano, Kazushige Ihara, Shuichi Obuchi, Yoshinori Fujiwara: An epidemiological study of the risk factors of bicycle-related falls among Japanese older adults, Journal of Epidemiology, 2018, in press.
  3. 3. Ken Nishihara, Hisashi Kawai, Takeshi Kera, Hirohiko Hirano, Yutaka Watanabe, Yoshinori Fujiwara, Kazushige Ihara, Hunkyung Kim, Masashi Tanaka, Shuichi Obuchi: Correlation of physical function with the thickness of multiple muscles of the quadriceps femoris in community-dwelling elderly individuals, Clin Interv Aging. 2018 Oct 10;13:1945-1951. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S177237. eCollection 2018.
  4. 4. Masamitsu Sugie, Kazumasa Harada, Tetsuya Takahashi, Marina Nara, Hisashi Kawai, Yoshinori Fujiwara, Joji Ishikawa, Jun Tanaka, Teruyuki Koyama, Hunkyung Kim, Renpei Sengoku, Hajime Fujimoto, Shuichi Obuchi, Syunei Kyo, Hideki Ito: Peak exercise stroke volume effects on cognitive impairment in community dwelling people with preserved ejection fraction, ESC Heart Fail. 2018 Oct;5(5):876-883. doi: 10.1002/ehf2.12311. Epub 2018 Jun 26.
  5. 5. Kazushige Ihara, Manabu Fuchikami, Masahiro Hashizume, Satoshi Okada, Hisashi Kawai, Shuichi Obuchi Hirohiko Hirano, Yoshinori Fujiwara, Mitsugu Hachisu, Hongyong Kim, Shigeru Morinobu: The influence of aging on the methylation status of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene in blood, Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2018 Oct;33(10):1312-1318. doi: 10.1002/gps.4927. Epub 2018 Jun 28.
  6. 6. Takeshi Kera, Hisashi Kawai, Hirohiko Hirano, Motonaga Kojima, Yutaka Watanabe, Yoshinori Fujiwara, Kazushige Ihara, Shuichi Obuchi: Comparison of body composition and physical and cognitive function between older Japanese adults with no diabetes, prediabetes, and diabetes: A cross-sectional study in community-dwelling Japanese older people, Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2018 Jul;18(7):1031-1037. doi: 10.1111/ggi.13301. Epub 2018 Mar 26.
  7. 7. Shuichi P Obuchi, Shuichi Tsuchiya, Hisashi Kawai: Test-retest reliability of daily life gait speed as measured by smartphone global positioning system, Gait and Posture. 2018 Mar;61:282-286. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2018.01.029. Epub 2018 Jan 31.
  8. 8. Hisashi Kawai, Kazushige Ihara, Takeshi Kera, Hirohiko Hirano, Yoshinori Fujiwara, Masashi Tanaka, Motonaga Kojima and Shuichi Obuchi: Association between statin use and physical function among community-dwelling older Japanese adults, Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2018 Apr;18(4):623-630. doi: 10.1111/ggi.13228. Epub 2017 Dec 26.
  9. 9. Mitsugu Hachisu, Masataka Hashidume, Hisashi Kawai, Hirohiko Hirano, Motonaga Kojima, Yoshinori Fujiwara, Shuichi Obuchi and Kazushige Ihara: Relationships between serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor concentration and parameters for health scores in community-dwelling older adults, Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2018 Mar;18(3):456-461. doi: 10.1111/ggi.13210. Epub 2017 Dec 8.
  10. 10. Hisashi Kawai, Takeshi Kera, Ryo Hirayama, Hirohiko Hirano, Yoshinori Fujiwara, Kazushige Ihara, Motonaga Kojima, Shuichi Obuchi: Morphological and qualitative characteristics of the quadriceps muscle of community-dwelling older adults based on ultrasound imaging: Classification using latent class analysis, Aging Clin Exp Res. 2018 Apr;30(4):283-291. doi: 10.1007/s40520-017-0781-0. Epub 2017 Jun 2.
  11. 11. Takeshi Kera, Hisashi Kawai, Hirohiko Hirano, Motonaga Kojima, Yoshinori Fujiwara, Kazushige Ihara, Shuichi Obuchi: Relationship among peak expiratory flow rate, body composition, physical function, and sarcopenia in community-dwelling older adults, Aging Clin Exp Res. 2018 Apr;30(4):331-340. doi: 10.1007/s40520-017-0777-9. Epub 2017 May 30.
  12. 12. Takeshi Kera, Hisashi Kawai, Hirohiko Hirano, Motonaga Kojima, Yoshinori Fujiwara, Kazushige Ihara, Shuichi Obuchi, and the TOSHIMA Research Group: Differences in body composition and physical function related to pure sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity: a study of community-dwelling older adults in Japan, Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2017 Dec;17(12):2602-2609. doi: 10.1111/ggi.13119. Epub 2017 Jun 28.