September 6, 2023 | News & Notices Release of Japan’s First Infectious Disease Management Support System*1
Connecting Attending Physicians with Infectious Disease Specialists and Reducing the Burden of Diagnosis and Treatment

Shimadzu Corporation has developed a prototype for an Infectious Disease Management Support System (hereinafter this system) for connecting the medical institution of an attending physician*2 (hereinafter the attending physician) with infectious disease specialists. It was developed through collaborative research with a research group consisting of the Tokai National Higher Education and Research System,*3 the Department of Infectious Diseases at Nagoya University Hospital, Nagoya University Innovative Research Center for Preventive Medical Engineering, and the endowed chair faculty at the Department of Infection Control, Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu University. (Research representative: Professor Tetsuya Yagi, Department of Infectious Diseases, Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya University). This is the first system developed in Japan to facilitate consultations and heighten the efficiency of contracts and payments between attending physicians and specialists offering diagnoses and treatments of infectious diseases. By enabling consultations between specialists and attending physicians regarding infectious disease diagnoses and treatment plans of patients, it supports higher-quality in infectious disease diagnoses and treatments. The rapid sharing of specialist expertise with attending physicians through this system will lessen the burden on medical workers, alleviate long hours of labor, and reduce medical costs through the appropriate use of antimicrobial agents. Shimadzu plans to test and verify this system and will exhibit a prototype of it at the 38th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Infection Prevention and Control (July 20 to 22 at Pacifico Yokohama).

In Japan, it is common for attending physicians who is not an infectious disease specialist to consult with infectious disease specialists when they have concerns about the diagnosis and treatment plan of an infectious disease. Specialists are busy managing their medical duties at their own hospitals, and dealing with inquiries from other medical institutions at the same time. However, telephone and email-based consultations make it difficult to reliably tabulate and assess the outcome and degree of contribution of specialists. Therefore, a smooth and efficient consultation system is desired. 

This system has the following three features:

  1. Attending physicians can consult with a specialist as needed.
  2. Attending physicians can make a request just by answering questions from this system.
  3. Specialists get paid based on their response performance.

When the patient’s medical records, imaging examination information, and examination reports are entered into this system, its medical language processing engine and dictionary listing engine recognize the patient’s information, and it displays clinical practice guidelines of infectious disease and other related information on the computer. The system then automatically poses questions to the attending physician in order to supplement the patient information presumed to be required by the specialist ahead of time. This makes the consultation flow more smooth and efficient by avoiding repeated back and forth that normally occur between the attending physician and specialists. The details of consultations through this system are automatically logged, which should also be useful for confirming the utilization results and accumulating knowledge. Specialists can register the dates and times they are available for consultations, giving them control over their own workload. This system is equipped with functions that simplify the troublesome process of making arrangements directly between the attending physician and the specialist regarding contracts and remuneration. It provides an environment in which the attending physician is connected to the necessary specialist at the required time. The development of this system is part of the construction of a diagnostic workflow, a med-tech project that is part of the medium-term management plan.

Since 2018, Shimadzu has been collaborating with Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine and Nagoya University Hospital to pursue measures to obtain and utilize specialist knowledge through the terminology and usage conditions at on-site medical care facilities, which has led to the construction of this highly practical system. This initiative began with needs-exploration-type collaborative research with Nagoya University, the initiator of needs exploration at on-site clinical facilities. Following the applicable needs exploration, full-scale collaborative research was established, which has advanced into element research and development, hypothesis testing, and system development discussions. In the future, Shimadzu Corporation plans to conduct testing and verification of this system with the aim introducing it into society.


  • Note 1: Medical information systems developed by companies in Japan as of July 2023 (as determined by Shimadzu)
  • Note 2: In addition to the attending physician (a clinical physician at a medical facility), it is anticipated this system will be used by a support team, for an antimicrobial stewardship team, and an infection control team, which will keep the patients, their families, and hospital personnel safe from infection. The infection control team will consist of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, medical technologists, physical therapists, dental hygienists, and clinical engineers.
  • Note 3: The Tokai National Higher Education and Research System is a national university corporation established in April 2020 by Japan’s first single corporation, multiple universities system through the cross-prefectural corporate consolidation of two national university corporations, Gifu University and Nagoya University. Since then, it has supported the development characteristics of each university and has significantly fostered a synergy born from the strengths of the universities with the aim of contributing to resolving societal issues and issues facing humanity and taking initiatives in education, research, and regional creation.