Redge Challenges to Deliver Adequate Healthcare to the whole World, with guaranteed safety and quality
Representative Director- Daisuke Inagaki
Clinical Engineer: CE, Master of Public Health: MPH
Through providing medical support to developing countries, Mr. Inagaki became aware of local medical issues and entered the Graduate School of Health Innovation at Kanagawa Prefectural University of Health and Welfare.
He completed the University of Tokyo Biodesign Fellowship Program to study the medical device development process, and is also aiming to develop medical devices for Asia and Africa. Received JHeC2022 Idea Category Grand Prize.
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SDGs Challenge – Since 2021, we support business development and overseas expansion of startups that take on the challenges of solving global-scale SDGs issues to create systems and products that create global social change pivoting from Hyogo Prefecture and Kobe City. The SDGs The “SDGs CHALLENGE” is a co-creation program that aims to solve global SDG issues. We will introduce the startups selected for this program one by one in the Stories category of this website.
<Service Introduction> “CeTrax”Medical Device Management Education System ”
Our medical device management education system supports the DX-ization of medical institutions, improves hospital management, and solves issues hospitals face in medical device management, training and education.
There is no such thing as “someday things will change” as time passes
-Please tell us why you decided to participate in the SDGs Challenge.
I believe that our efforts fall under goal number 3 of the SDGs, which is “health and welfare for all. Most medical care places involved would fall under this category. We contribute to it by providing “medical device management education systems” to the medical field around the globe, mostly focusing on underdeveloped nations. Before starting my own business, I was a clinical engineer in the medical field for about seven years. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be involved in “medical care in developing countries,” and while working in the field, I used to use my paid holidays to go to medical aid in those countries. There, I saw that underdeveloped countries’ medical equipment was not properly maintained and cared for. Sometimes it was hard to even tell if the equipment was usable or broken, and because medical equipment was not entirely wiped clean as in Japan, it was not hygienic either. We started our current business to change these conditions as much as possible.
-Did you go straight from being a clinical engineer to starting your own business to solve a problem?
No, I decided to study “public health” in graduate school first to become able to solve this issue myself. To be honest, while I was volunteering in an underdeveloped nation and kept thinking that the poor conditions would “change someday” as time went by. However, in the few years that I worked, nothing changed. I began to think that if someone did not do something, it would stay the same forever, and on the plane ride home from a developing country, I decided to take matters into my hand and go get my Master’s. However, after enrolling in graduate school, I realized that there was a glitch between my plans and how time consuming the research was going to take. So, I started looking for what other things I can do to speed up my process in addition to graduate school research, that is when I came across “EDGE-NEXT,” a project to foster next-generation entrepreneurs, and “Start Next Innovator 2022,” a program to foster global innovators, etc., and hence began to develop my business plan. In my second year of graduate school along with my peers, I applied to the JST (Japan Science and Technology Agency) Gap Fund Program (SCORE) for my business plan, which was accepted, and we received some grants. So we have been developing systems and conducting demonstration experiments using the grant money. While I was in school, I was pursuing both research and demonstration experiments at the university at the same time, but I began to think about what I should do with this research theme after graduation. In such a situation, I received the Grand Prize in the idea category at the Japan Healthcare Business Contest, and the cooperation and support of many people encouraged me to quit the hospital and start my own business.
Business circulation creates sustainability
-I see, so you have taken the first step toward solving issues through research and entrepreneurship while studying at the university
That’s right. However, when I started my own business, I realized once again that it is challenging to simultaneously solve problems and do business in this field. This project, which is based on my own experience, is something between an NPO and a business, and since various NPOs and other organizations are already involved in assisting developing countries, I feel that I must balance the business side while solving the problem. We must not go into business out of the blue but rather work in good coordination with all the parties involved. On the other hand, it is also a fact that many organizations working in developing countries cannot sustain the work if they run out of funds. I believe that a business perspective is vital for the accomplishment of our goal of “sustainability”. Because if we run out of money then we can not change the flaws in the medical equipment system and nor can we stay in business. That is why providing services that are truly in need is crucial for us, that way we can create a situation where we can always continue to provide support.
-So you want to overcome not just the issues that are in front of us but also the structure of aid itself?
Many people are still volunteering to help developing countries, and I sincerely believe that this in itself is a very good initiative, and since I was involved in it too, I hope that this initiative itself will continue. However, it is a fact that funding is truly necessary, more initiatives shall be willing to support the cause monetarily as well. So I want to see the structure of aid get more funding for a bigger and better change. And since volunteering has some limits to it, I want businesses such as mine to come and amplify the improvement in the medical field overall and update the whole system or structure.
What kind of value will you add to society in the future to create the world you are envisioning?
My goal is to bring about a world where the safety and quality of medical care are guaranteed where ever you are. To accomplish this goal, I want to provide worldwide medical device management education services and training, which I am currently working on, and raise the standard in general. So that advanced medical devices can be used safely and people can receive high-quality medical care. After the spread of this service, I would like to work on the medical devices development for Asia and Africa specifically to solve various problems. I would like to create a norm where safe medical care is accessible to as many people as possible with peace of mind.