TOKYO, August 9, 2019  - Yokohama City University (Kanagawa, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees and CEO: Yoshiyuki Futami, “YCU”) , Tokyo University of the Arts (Tokyo, President: Kazuki Sawa, “TUA”) and Astellas Pharma Inc. (Tokyo, President and CEO: Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., “Astellas” ) today announced that they have launched “Health Mock Lab.” as a virtual framework for industry-academia collaboration aimed at creating and commercializing new digital healthcare solutions using gamification.

Gamification is a method of applying game elements to services and systems to enhance user’s motivation and satisfaction. One example is educational materials for children that offer learning proposals with a sense of completing the game. In the healthcare field, services that address social issues by incorporating game elements have attracted attention in recent years.

At the Health Mock Lab., YCU, TUA and Astellas will jointly screen and refine ideas proposed by each party from medical, gamification and business perspectives, respectively to select ideas for practical application. In addition, YCU, TUA and Astellas are planning to then push ahead with initiatives toward the practical application of ideas selected through this process, including research and development, the production of prototypes and demonstration tests.

In 2018, YCU established the Communication Design Center at YCU Advanced Medical Research Center (YCU-CDC), which is the first creative laboratory in the medical research institutions among the world. YCU-CDC studies a creative solution using design, art, and others in additon to conventional medical means to realize Medicine for Humanity that does not only prevent, diagnose and treat disease, but also supports people to live a full life.

TUA created Game Course within the School of Film and New Media in 2019. Based on the foundation of animation and interactive media, the course will foster research in games under active collaboration with industries.

Under its Corporate Strategic Plan 2018, Astellas is committed to “Developing Rx+TM(1) programs,” which aim to create new healthcare solutions (Rx+TM) that combine expertise and experience gained from its prescription drug (Rx) business with technology and knowledge from different fields. This launch of Health Mock Lab. is part of this effort.