Konica Minolta and Zenkoukai collaborate to develop Care Director Service, a data-based solution to transform operational workflows at care facilities in Japan

| 11 November 2019

Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) announced the development of Care Director Service, a new solution that helps to improve the workflows of care staff by analysing a wide range of data collected at care facilities from multifaceted perspectives. The development was jointly undertaken by Konica Minolta QOL Solutions, Inc., a care-service subsidiary of Konica Minolta (Konica Minolta QOL Solutions), and Zenkoukai, a social welfare corporation that provides care services for the elderly. Care Director Service will be offered by Konica Minolta QOL Solutions in Japan.Although ICT has generally been considered difficult to accept and use on a regular basis for care services, the new service will help accelerate to improve the efficiency and quality of care by training care directors with expertise in data-based care services and enabling other care staff to focus on their work.Konica Minolta QOL Solutions exhibited a new care service, HitomeQ Care Support, which includes Care Director Service, at two trade fairs for the care industry in Japan: CareTEX Kansai 2019 from October 9 to 11, 2019 at Intex Osaka and Elderly Care & Nursing EXPO Tokyo from October 23 to 25, 2019, at Makuhari Messe.

Values of the service

In response to the increasingly serious shortage of care staff in Japan, Konica Minolta QOL Solutions has been introducing the Care Support Solution service to care facilities. This service uses a sensor mounted on the ceiling to detect a resident’s movements such as waking up, getting out of bed, falling from the bed, and stumbling, and sends a notification along with footage to the smartphones of care staff. When a resident accidentally falls, Care Support Solution automatically captures footage that can be used as evidence. Care staff can write care reports on their smartphones on the spot immediately after assisting the seniors. This improves work efficiency and gives care staff extra time, allowing them to provide better care and QOL (quality of life) for residents.

The new Care Director Service is designed to train care staff as professional care directors who can comprehensively analyse various data captured by the sensor, coupled with care reports, and thus correctly assess the situation and give information to care staff to provide the needed care. As such, Care Director Service enables care staff to make judgments on their own according to applicable rules and ensures that the right care is given by the right staff at the right timing. For example, by using data about the sleep-wake pattern of a resident, care staff can anticipate when the person is likely to be awake at night and visit the room to provide the necessary care. Care staff can thus avoid unnecessary visits, reducing their workload during night shifts and enabling the resident to sleep better.

In the care industry, efforts for ICT-based workstyle reform began around 2008, but have made little progress due to the amount of time required to master the operation of ICT devices and the difficulty of using them. Konica Minolta’s new service makes it easier to introduce ICT to care facilities by training care directors to handle all data-related works.

Outline of Care Director Service

Care Director Service consists of three stages: teaching, coaching, and remote support. In the teaching stage, an educational programme helps care staff acquire the skills needed by care directors. The coaching stage lasts about two months, during which Konica Minolta’s instructor visits care facilities to help them make organisational arrangements for introducing a data-based workflow, develop rules on work processes, formulate data-based improvements, and give the finishing touch on the training for care director candidates to ensure they fully understand the data-based workflow. The coaching stage is followed by the remote support stage, in which remote support is provided to help care directors analyse the collected data, along with monitoring, reporting and advisory services.


Joint development project

In the joint development project for Care Director Service, Zenkoukai was in charge of defining care director skills and developing educational contents for e-learning and in-person classes, based on its track record of enhancing productivity by increasing the number of residents per caregiver from 1.86 to 2.79 through the introduction of ICT and KAIZEN activities. Konica Minolta QOL Solutions was responsible for developing the coaching programme and remote support programme and building a work environment tailored to data-based workflows.

Service brand of Konica Minolta QOL Solutions

Konica Minolta QOL Solutions introduced a new service brand, HitomeQ, which reflects the company’s commitment to working with customers and inspiring each other to create a world where people feel empowered. Under the HitomeQ concept, Konica Minolta QOL Solutions is determined to collaborate with its business partners and many other parties to pursue higher goals in the area of human-to-human support service. As the first HitomeQ service in the care industry, the company has launched the HitomeQ Care Support programme for care facilities in line with the principle of “Discover and Guide” to create new data-based care workflows together with customers. With the establishment of the HitomeQ brand, Care Support Solution was renamed to HitomeQ Care Support.


About Konica Minolta, Inc.

Konica Minolta, Inc. is a global technology company that provides innovative solutions to businesses and society. With its strengths in the combination of its core technologies in advanced imaging, optics, sensing, materials and nano-processing, Konica Minolta is committed to creating new values supporting customers to address challenges in their operations and work processes. Advancing its expertise in digital technologies, the company has been going through business transformation into a digital company, with insights into implicit challenges across the board as ‘One Konica Minolta’ in the era of Internet of the Things (IoT). Konica Minolta is also active in open innovation through various collaborations and alliances with academic, industrial and entrepreneurial partners.Headquartered in Tokyo, Konica Minolta has its Group companies in 50 countries with over 44,300 employees and offers products and services in 150 countries around the world.

About Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe

Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH, based in Langenhagen, Germany, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Konica Minolta Inc., Tokyo, Japan. With its unique expertise in imaging, data processing and data-based decision making, Konica Minolta creates relevant solutions for its customers - small and medium-sized businesses, large enterprises and public sector - and solves issues faced by society.

As a digital workplace solution provider, Konica Minolta helps its clients to identify and unlock the potential digitalisation holds and reach the next level in the digital maturity of their organisation by rethinking the workplace. In support of an ‘Intelligent connected workplace’, Konica Minolta offers cloud, IT, managed print and video solution services for remote working, collaboration, workflow management and automation and security. The company’s success in driving transformation is also confirmed by IDC, since the ‘IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Print Transformation 2023 Vendor Assessment’ has named Konica Minolta a “Leader” in print transformation. Konica Minolta has been a Microsoft Global Managed Partner since 2021.

Konica Minolta's Igniting Print Possibilities offering helps printers, converters and brand owners maximise workflow automation to increase efficiency. The company delivers consultancy in all communication matters as well as top-of-the-line production, packaging as well as label printers. Its finishing devices create print products that stand out and create added value. Konica Minolta has established itself as the production printing market leader for more than a decade in Europe (InfoSource).

For an increasing number of organisations, success today is more than the narrow definition of financial prosperity – it also includes protecting the environment and having a positive impact on their workforce as well as the societies they are embedded in. With its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Konica Minolta has pledged to consistently pursue its sustainability and social responsibility goals.

The company has been repeatedly recognised for its rich history of social contribution as well as for working towards achieving the SDGs throughout its business and supply chain. Konica Minolta received a GOLD Level Recognition Medal in the EcoVadis sustainability ratings for 2024.

For its remote services, Konica Minolta was awarded the prestigious ‘Buyers Lab (BLI) 2023-2024 Pacesetter Award in Remote Service for the Western European market’ from Keypoint Intelligence.

Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe is represented by subsidiaries and distributors in more than 80 countries in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. With more than 8,800 employees (as of April 2024), Konica Minolta Europe earned net sales of over EUR 2.13 billion in financial year 2023/2024.

Worldwide, the company has over 40,000 employees and is operating in over 150 countries.

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