Japan playing tag with the elderly!

Japan have taken steps to keep their elderly in check, they’re adding barcodes to their thumbnails and toenails. Weird,Crazy and slightly concerning…but hear us out!

There’s a company in Iruma, which is a company 40 miles from Tokyo that want to add this tagging system to the elderly, not to tag us all in some sort of scary dystopian underworld. But a way to help elderly people in Japan suffering from dementia be found if they go wandering by themselves and get lost. They are ‘tagged’ with a transparent one inch sticker which has a QR code on it. The seal is water resistant and lasts roughly 2 weeks. Embedded within the QR code is a patient’s name, address, phone number and who to contact if they’re found. While it doesn’t have any tracking technology built in, it certainly goes a long way to identifying any lost patients so they’re able to get home safely.

As crazy as this sounds, this isn’t out of the ordinary for the people of Japan. There’s even a small economy of elderly people tracking and tagging from things like GPRS Trackers and wearable soles!

Dementia is quite common in Japan, with Japanese outlet ‘Yomirui’ estimating nearly 3,000 elders have early symptoms of dementia, couple this with The Guardian reporting that 12,000 dementia patients were reported missing last year in Japan and while most a found relatively quickly 450 were found dead and 150 were never found.

While weird, crazy and slightly funny at the same time, this scheme will help out a lot of families whose loved ones go missing due to dementia.

Click here to listen to the guys talk about this on the show!