- Healthcare on remote islands
“There’s a tiny polyp in your large intestine.
But don’t worry; it’s just at an early stage,” says Tomi’s doctor.
Hearing this gives her a great sense of relief.
“It’s a good thing we caught it so early,” the doctor continues,
looking at a vivid endoscopic image on an
“It’s so small, we probably would’ve missed it
if we’d been using standard equipment.”
This scene takes place on a remote Japanese island that’s home to fewer than 3,000 people.
Tomi is the 80-year-old proprietor of a small eatery that she’s been running for 47 years.
She has always worked hard to make her customers happy, which is why she and her restaurant are so popular with the locals.
Recent conversations with her regulars have turned to a celebratory topic.
“In three years, this place will be 50 years old.
We should throw you a party!” suggests one of the locals.
“That’s really nice of you,” replies Tomi. “But the restaurant has only succeeded because of you.
Really, it’s me that should be doing something for you!”
It’s a weekend night, and Tomi has been on the phone for over half an hour.
“Mom, think about your age. You should have a proper checkup at the hospital.
If you get sick, I won’t be able to get to you right away.” It’s Tomi’s daughter on the line.
She lives in Tokyo and calls every weekend to check on her mother.
“I’m fine. There’s nothing wrong with me,” insists Tomi.
“But you’re not young any more,” replies her daughter.
“You could fall ill anytime.”
As long as she’s lived, Tomi has hardly ever been to a hospital.
She’s always been careful about what she ate.
With her traditional approach to health, Tomi is reluctant to follow her daughter’s advice.
But something the local doctor says changes her mind.
After lunching at Tomi’s restaurant one day, the doctor informs her that the island
hospital has acquired a camera-and-monitor system that provides ultra-high-quality
images to support diagnoses.
He tells her that the system can be connected to a large hospital in Tokyo,
so doctors there can share their expertise.
“We’ll be able to detect diseases early,” the doctor says.
“Something a small hospital like ours couldn’t have done before.”
“The times are changing, aren’t they?” remarks Tomi.
“Why don’t you get a checkup,” suggests the doctor,
“to make sure you’re in top shape for the restaurant’s 50th anniversary?”
Tomi calls her daughter that night. “The doctor told me I should get a checkup,
so I guess I will. I don’t want to miss a single day at my restaurant for the next three years.”
On the day of Tomi’s checkup, the island hospital is
connected to a large general hospital in Tokyo via
a next-generation mobile
Endoscopic camera images in 8K resolution are
sent in real time to Tokyo, where a specialist takes part in the examination.
“Could you pull the camera back a little?”
The specialist has noticed something that appeared for
an instant in the vivid on-screen image. “It’s a polyp.
It’s tiny, but with this ultra-high-definition image quality,
you can tell for sure it’s a polyp.”
After the checkup, the doctor briefs Tomi and her daughter, who has come from Tokyo to visit.
Tomi’s daughter is wide-eyed with amazement.
“This endoscopic camera-and-monitor system lets you see inside the body
with incredible detail—more than you can see with the naked eye.
” The doctor continues, “It lets us catch early signs of disease that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Using high-speed telecommunications, we can send images to a large city hospital.
In the future, we’ll even be able to do remote surgery.
Regional disparities in health care could become a thing of the past.”
With 8K, your future is beyond your imagination.