The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry is supporting the development of an artificial intelligence program that helps diabetics improve their dietary and other daily habits to prevent their condition from becoming severe, sources have said.
The ministry hopes to collect data of some 2,000 diabetics whose condition is nearly severe by year-end through a clinical trial in cooperation with the Japan Diabetes Society.
The data, including weights and the numbers of steps taken, will serve as high-quality training data for AI development. Training data are an initial set of information with which computers learn how to reach appropriate answers.
A clinical research-linked project to collect such data from so many diabetics whose condition is nearly severe is unprecedented around the world, according to sources including a ministry executive.
Participants in the trial provide data through a smartphone app.
An AI program encourages them by praising their efforts to improve dietary and other habits and get exercise. Data obtained through the interactions will be material to determine what kinds of advice are effective.
In Japan, health data are collected from citizens through health awareness programs by local governments and other occasions.
But such programs tend to attract healthy people. It is not easy to collect data from those who need to improve their daily habits, such as patients with relatively mild diabetes, the sources said.
In the clinical trial, participants were selected based on the readings of HbA1c, a measure of average blood sugar levels.
The ministry provides collected information to companies and research institutes so that they can use it as training data for AI development. The ministry hopes that the measure will help promote the development of the health care industry, according to the sources.Speech