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Japan Medicine Technology

Japanese City Tags Elderly Dementia Sufferers With Barcodes (japantimes.co.jp) 115

"The Japanese city of Iruma has introduced scannable adhesive barcodes to tag fingernails of senior citizens with dementia who are prone to getting lost as a way to help concerned families find missing loved ones," writes HughPickens.com, citing this article from Japan Times: The adhesive QR-coded seals for nails -- part of a free service launched last month and a first in the country -- measure just 1 cm (0.4 inches) in size. "Being able to attach the seals on nails is a great advantage," says a city worker. "There are already ID stickers for clothes or shoes but dementia patients are not always wearing those items." If an elderly person becomes disorientated, police will find the local city hall, its telephone number and the wearer's ID all embedded in the QR code. Japan is grappling with a rapidly aging population, with senior citizens expected to make up a whopping 40 percent of the population around 2060.
The article describes Japan as "a country where 4.8 million people aged 75 or older hold a license... Last month, police started offering discounts for noodles at local restaurants to elderly citizens who agreed to hand in their driving licenses."
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Japanese City Tags Elderly Dementia Sufferers With Barcodes

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  • >The adhesive QR-coded seals for nails
    Wut?

  • by paiute ( 550198 ) on Sunday December 11, 2016 @04:47PM (#53464651)
    "And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand...."
    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday December 11, 2016 @05:37PM (#53464879)

      "And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand...."

      An obvious way to avoid this end-of-days prophecy would be to put these barcodes on the left hand.

      • "And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand...."

        An obvious way to avoid this end-of-days prophecy would be to put these barcodes on the left hand.

        Hasn't excluding everyone but dementia patients kinda blown that prophecy already?

      • Just go for the forehead. Harder to amputate for anonymity.
    • by rworne ( 538610 ) on Sunday December 11, 2016 @06:51PM (#53465221) Homepage

      Somehow I'd knew it'd come to this.

      This type of article is exactly what you'd expect from The Drudge Report, and /. seems to be a bit late with the news (it was on Drudge last week).

      Quite simply:

      Japan does not have the same cultural baggage about this you'd find in the west. There's no huge population that had the whole Bible and "Mark of the Beast" drummed into their heads. There's no conspiracy theorists. No persecution of Jews - even though they were an ally of Nazi Germany.

      In WWII, for all the things the Japanese did during the war, they did not share the Nazi's attitude towards Jews. Chiune Sugihara saved many European Jews during the war by giving them visas allowing them to escape Europe via Siberia. The government and the military pretty much ignored the orders to round up and exterminate Jews coming from Germany, with the one exception of a ghetto being built in Shanghai. The Japanese did not run any extermination campaigns and pretty much left Jews in their sphere of influence alone during the war.

      Because of this, the marking of individuals does not carry the same knee-jerk gut reaction there as it would here, and people in Japan would liken it to how Americans see the commonplace medical alert bracelets.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        s/Jews/Chinese/g

      • Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live in a sane country.
      • by zioncat ( 632849 )

        Japan does not have the same cultural baggage about this you'd find in the west. There's no huge population that had the whole Bible and "Mark of the Beast" drummed into their heads. There's no conspiracy theorists. No persecution of Jews - even though they were an ally of Nazi Germany.

        Japan has conspiracy theorists as much as America has if not more. Here [sirabee.com] is a poll from 2014 asking Japanese whether there is a conspiracy of shadowy organization controlling the world in secret, and 60% answered yes. As for Japanese positive attitude toward Jews during WWII, that was a result of Jews bankrolling Japan during Russo-Japanese War. Jews hated Russia for anti-Jewish pogroms and helped Japan and in turn Japan helped Jews during WWII. Of course that was then, now there is a rampant conspiracy theo

    • by golodh ( 893453 ) on Sunday December 11, 2016 @08:17PM (#53465705)
      Damn right ! Compulsory tagging of demented old biddies is something they could only think if in Japan.

      In the US we'd never do anything like that. We're Christians ! We have Morals !

      Instead people will be told that, to better serve them and to keep medical costs down, all medicare recipients will be offered a chance to enroll in a programme that offers them expedited ambulance transport in case of accidents (they're easier to locate), emergency treatment in hospitals (because their medical data can be found more easily) plus waiver of the upcoming 1000$ a month service surcharge ... provided they consent to have an RFID chip implanted with their SSN.

      Those who elect not to participate in the programme will not be eligible for expedited ambulance transport, will experience a light delay upon admission until their medical data has been found and their insurance status clarified, and will be asked to pay the service surcharge.

      Net participation in the chipping program will therefore be 99%, of which 100% will be voluntary, you see?

      That's how you do things !

    • "And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand...."

      Simple fix: Put it on the left hand.

    • Already is, most just don't realize it.
      It's called a SmartPhone that folks can't ever seem to put down.

      Why force a mark on someone when they're willing to buy one ?

  • it's already there.. finger print / iris scan / DNA .. ask the old man to press his thumb impression and you can find who he is.
    • Because this can be done with a smartphone, I'd guess? A QR-code-based system can be implemented with nothing but typical smartphone hardware everyone already has. Also, from what I gather, the system itself isn't new, and already types of QR wearables are available, like bracelets. I think it's just the "QR-codes on the nails" that's new.

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Sunday December 11, 2016 @04:52PM (#53464681) Homepage Journal

    Wouldn't it be easier to chip them, like you do for cats, dogs & marmosets?

    • How do you read the chip? All you need for a barcode is a phone and an app.
      • by jabuzz ( 182671 )

        A phone and an app?

        You comment suggests that either you have a phone that does not do NFC or you have a phone that does have NFC but the manufacture thinks the only use for NFC is for payments and won't let anyone else use the NFC feature of the phone but themselves.

        • Yes replace a system readable by everyone with a system readable by some.

          Do you have an app for you phone that reads NFC tags? Everyone in Japan has a barcode reader already.

  • by jabberw0k ( 62554 ) on Sunday December 11, 2016 @04:54PM (#53464693) Homepage Journal

    Surely it should be "disoriented" or have I been misinformated? (From "orient" meaning the East, or to find the direction East).

    Spurious word endings do not beautificate your language and should be omissionated.

    • "Disorientated" is the British English form of the American English "disoriented." Kinda like they call it al-u-min-i-um vs our a-lu-min-um. I guess at some point Americans figured a lot of these extra syllables were superfluous and got rid of them.
    • by alzoron ( 210577 )

      "Disorientation" is the actual medical terminology for a state of mental confusion as to time, place, or identity. "Disoriented" has a much more broad and generic usage.

      Next time take a half second to research shit before you make yourself look like an idiot trying to be "edgy."

      • It's effectively the same word. In my tongue, which uses Latin loan words like most European languages, the former is the official verbal noun for the latter verb.
  • by Streetlight ( 1102081 ) on Sunday December 11, 2016 @04:56PM (#53464705) Journal
    An adhesive bar code or QR-code on fingernails sound about as permanent as a Post It note on a cloth sleeve. A tattoo on a wrist or other visible place would be pretty permanent but the data base connected to the tattoo must be kept up to date. Another less permanent device might be an end sealed plastic wrist band containing appropriate information including perhaps a readable chip or QR-code. Maybe even an identity chip placed under the skin like those for wayward pets.

    There's still the problem of dementia patients wandering away from their residence. This seems to happen fairly frequently and sometimes with tragic results. Some kind of tracking of such folks would also be nice. These are often used in the residential settings of such people, but don't work when the the patient walks away.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A tattoo on a wrist or other visible place would be pretty permanent but the data base connected to the tattoo must be kept up to date.

      I hear IBM has experience with that.

      • A tattoo on a wrist or other visible place would be pretty permanent but the data base connected to the tattoo must be kept up to date.

        I hear IBM has experience with that.

        Ohhhhh, Burn!

    • Tragic results? If you're that far gone and could do it over, you'd probably pull the trigger or jump in front of a subway or overdose on whatever you can get your hands on before then.

    • An adhesive bar code or QR-code on fingernails sound about as permanent as a Post It note on a cloth sleeve.

      They aren't permanent, but they can sit on the fingernail for a fair time. Many people wear artificial fingernails that glue on and last a good while.

      There's still the problem of dementia patients wandering away from their residence. This seems to happen fairly frequently and sometimes with tragic results. Some kind of tracking of such folks would also be nice. These are often used in the residential settings of such people, but don't work when the the patient walks away.

      That's part of what this system does. And yes, there's always people wandering off around here.

  • How noble (Score:4, Funny)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday December 11, 2016 @05:21PM (#53464833)

    "Last month, police started offering discounts for noodles at local restaurants to elderly citizens who agreed to hand in their driving licenses."

    Yeah, they're banking on most of the elderly forgetting about the discount...

  • Old innovation (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Trachman ( 3499895 )

    Many of the early commentators are missing the point.

    Barcode is the direct allusion to Nazi Germany innovation of using permanent tattooed numbers to account their inmates. By the way, they have used IBM computers, leading novel technology, to keep track of inmates.

    At the same time Soviets did not use codes on the bodies of their prisoners in GULAG, because they had way more prisoners and all their efforts were directed toward building weapons for WW2, not dealing with computers.

    Fun stuff. Who could have th

    • Caring for old people with dementia is rather different than tracking minorities and gays for eventual elimination.

    • by zm ( 257549 )
      If my dog gets lost without his collar and tags, he can't tell anyone who he is, so the vet put an identification chip under his skin. Would you consider that a better solution for elderly demented people than a non-permanent tattoo? Or something else, perhaps?
    • Many of the early commentators are missing the point.

      Barcode is the direct allusion to Nazi Germany innovation of using permanent tattooed numbers to account their inmates. By the way, they have used IBM computers, leading novel technology, to keep track of inmates.

      Yeah - so what? We have people today that claim that social security numbers are the biblical Mark of the Beast" http://themarkofthebeast.com/4... [themarkofthebeast.com]

      I wonder if there is the smallest possibility of a difference between what the Nasties did, and IBM's collusion with them, and a temporary barcode that is helpful for finding people with dementia after they wander off? Sort of like the difference between getting a person back into safety and comfort, and gassing them removing their valuables, and tossing them i

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You know what else the Nazis did? They built roads! And cheap cars!

      Clearly, roads and cheap cars are Nazi.

      I hear some of them even ate food. We should investigate, and if that turns out to be true we should ban that abhorrent practice too.

      • To wit! the Beetle, arguably the most iconic car of all times is a Nazi invention.
        They did many things that are absolutely horrible, and I even will concede the slippery slope of using good data that was "badly" gathered (I really don't know a harsh enough word to go in that space, so badly it is)...

        But there are some things they did, some ideas they had, that can be made to do good for people. Use it.

        Tagging the vulnerable that cannot help themselves in case they get lost or wander is a wonderful applicat

  • Dude, Japan is turning into a real live Children of Men.
    With near zero immigration, and below replacement rate both rate, they are doomed.
    Japan is going to have t have some serious cultural changes within the next 10-15 years, or the new lace will be a ghost town.

    • Japan is going to have t have some serious cultural changes within the next 10-15 years, or the new lace will be a ghost town.

      Japan tried to transition to Western courtship rituals, but didn't remove the cultural impediments, like the severe social emberassment Japanese men suffer when they're denied after approaching a woman. Since it doesn't look like they're going to be able to shed that, they're going to have to go back to what worked for them: arranged marriages. We'll see if they figure it out in time.

      • by Jzanu ( 668651 )
        I think it has more to do with people being too tired for sex and being unable to raise children due to being extremely poor [economist.com] and working multiple jobs for even the barest subsistence living.
        • Protip: Wake up early and put your priorities into action.

          • by Jzanu ( 668651 )
            "Last year, the Japanese government recorded relative poverty rates of 16%—defined as the share of the population living on less than half the national median income. ... ¥2m ($16,700)"

            "Since Mr Abe took office in late 2012, the number of irregular workers—often earning less than half the pay of their full-time counterparts with permanent employment contracts—has jumped by over 1.5m. Casual and part-time employees number nearly 20m, almost 40% of the Japanese workforce."
            • They should all get busy first thing and leave their employers to deal with their exhaustion. 'Sorry boss, too tired. Fucked the wife three times this morning. Got up at 2am to get started.'

  • It has begun
  • Someone finally turned up to pick up all of the Auschwitz IT junk. "Repurpose for the elderly" they said.
  • While this is in principle a nice idea, it also opens up rather nastier possibilities as data capture for identity theft. Who better for a potential attacker to skim data from that someone who may not know or understand they might be compromised?
  • This isn't new. We've put tags on our people for decades, I remember it back in the 1970s. Sometimes even a dog tag. One family I remember had a dog collar around his neck with a dog tag. They said this made it very obvious what was going on.

    These people are a handful. If they can get out, they're off for the races! Happened to my father in law. We had to put locks on the door. When they are at this point, it usually isn't long.

    Just a welcome technology update. Scan the fingernail, poof. Here's where the gu

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