Japan's Panasonic joins Toshiba in rush to medical devices

Japan's Panasonic, one of the nation's large electronics companies making the switch to the healthcare market, plans to make its move in a big way, building its workforce from 2,000 to 20,000 by the end of fiscal year 2018. Its idea is to offer eldercare and related facilities and equipment.

Panasonic's electronics expertise comes into play through eldercare equipment and related home appliances, partly through home renovations for eldercare at home. The huge workforce expansion is for eldercare-givers.

Although there is a shortage of such workers in Japan, Panasonic said it hopes its entry would spur more training of workers in the field. It is counting on having an eldercare business worth $1.66 billion in FY 2025.

Japan's Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry estimates the population of elderly in need of care will increase by nearly a third, to 7 million, in 2025.

Earlier this week, reports said that more than 55 years after pioneering the world's first color television set, Toshiba aims to become a healthcare company making medical devices. In that new realm, Toshiba still expects to be dealing with images on a machine.

- here's the Panasonic story from Nikkei