press release

With and Post-COVID-19 The 20 areas of largely evolving areas and 26 social issues we need to resolve immediately ~How will the COVID-19 era change individuals, corporates, and the society in the short, medium, and long terms? be brought about by to?

astamuse Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Ayumu Nagai) analyzed the future after the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, which is currently having a major impact on the economy and people’s lives, at the individual, social, and corporate levels, at the short-term (6 months to 6 months), medium-term (6 months to 3 years), and long-term (3 years to 3 years) levels, based on its own database containing approximately 200 million new businesses, new products/services, new technologies/research, patent information, and investment information in 80 countries around the world, and identified the largely evolving areas and social issues that must be addressed in order to overview the changes brought about in the post-pandemic era.

Perspectives on the post-pandemic era

While the demands in the restaurant industry, as well as inbound tourism industry, have seen a dramatic drop by more than 90%, some companies, such as Amazon, which announced to add 75,000 employees, are turning the COVID-19 pandemic crisis into an opportunity to grow. To overcome the crisis, it is important to look seriously into the changes in people’s lifestyle and mindsets that were caused by the pandemic from a fact-based point of view and adapt quickly to the upcoming changes.

To navigate through the changes that could happen in the post-pandemic era, astamuse sorted out the important discussion points that need to be addressed into three levels (“individuals”, “society” and “companies”) and associated them with the potential growth areas as well as social issues. In the chart above, the largely evolving areas after the pandemic are shown in blue, and the social issues that will be resolved quickly are shown in green.

In the wake of the state of emergency declared in each country and the period of restraint on going out globally, we have listed some of the changes that are likely to take place in the medium to long term, as well as specific areas that are likely to develop as a result of these changes, as well as examples of technologies and cultures that are attracting attention.


<Short term (~6 months) change>

To prevent infection, avoid the three Cs (closed, crowded, close-contact) = a life of “stay home”

<Medium-term (6 months to 3 years) change>

(1) Increased feeling of isolation/pursuit of new types of entertainment
[Accelerating Growth Area]

Mental Care
Communication robots and personal robots
Human Communication and Proactive Life
Watching and experiencing sports
Games and e-Sports

[Social issues that will be resolved quickly]

Realize a society that reduces loneliness and suicide.
Realize a society where everyone is motivated to work by overcoming the social problem of loneliness.

  • Prolonged restrictions on direct social interactions and going out may lead to an increase in mental illnesses such as depression as well as the number of suicides, recorded about 800,000 worldwide each year, due to increased loneliness.
  • It also affects not only the working generation, but also a wide range of people, including the elderly people who are at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and the infants and young generation affected by school closures.
  • Due to these restrictions, alternative communication services that do not require physical contacts and new unconventional types of entertainment will be emerging.
  • The birth of a new culture, such as virtual happy hours, where people can connect with others online and without any physical contact
    • Accelerating the commercialization of communication and humanoid robots that take human senses and emotions into account, such as those that are close to the individual. Example: GROOVE X’s LOVOT
    • The development of entertainment in a form that does not have a physical venue to prevent the spread of infection.
    • For example, in sports, in addition to conventional video distribution, the acceleration of the “experience” by using HMD (Head Amount Display),VR/AR technology and public viewing using Immersive Live Experience (ILE)
    • The e-sport trend is accelerating for the purpose of interacting with others and enjoying the sense of being together. In 2017, the overall market size of e-sport outside of Japan already exceeded 70 billion yen and acquired 300 million viewers.
  • In addition, in the context of mental health care, psychotherapy such as psychological counselling, living with companion animals, and the spread of aromatherapy are also expected to expand.
(2) Lack of exercise opportunities / increased awareness of health
[Accelerating Growth Area]

Nursing care/life support robots
Intelligent Sports / Smart Sports

[Social issues that will be resolved quickly]

Realize a society that enables a long healthy life expectancy.

  • There will be less opportunity to exercise as the working people no longer need to commute and are refraining from going out in their private lives.
  • In daily lives, the certain types of exercise such as muscle training and jogging that can be done without having contact with other people will become more popular, and public awareness on the effective health and exercise management is expected to increase.
    • For example, like Adidas’ smart sports concept, many services that monitor data such as respiration rate and heart rate are being developed to help provide exercise advice.
    • There is also the possibility of widespread use of exercise equipment (e.g., SpineGym’s Strong Back and Abs for Life) to solve health problems such as back pain, which are worsened by prolonged working from home
  • The development of mobility assistive devices such as power assist suits and personal mobility devices such as electric wheelchairs is also expected to be developed for those who need nursing care and with potential health problems.
[Social issues that will be resolved quickly]

Realize a society that enables everyone to be freed from overwork and to have a work style utilizing human creativity.
Realize a society that enables everyone to continue working in any places and work styles varied by life events and lifestyles.
Realize a society enables everyone to be rewarded by reducing regional disparities in employment support and wages.

(3) Diversification of work styles
  • Layoffs/organization restructuring due to the recession and the acceleration of remote work are likely to change the previous working styles (especially after the recovery phase of employment, which is expected to take place in the next few years).
    • The fear of another wave of COVID-19 pandemic, which could sluggish the business again, will promote companies to accelerate the use of external human resources, including business outsourcing.
    • In a work-from-home environment, it will be difficult to evaluate an employee’s performance beyond clear numerical results, and the design of the organization and personnel system based on interpersonal relationships and overtime work will change as personnel will become more serious about results in a recession.
  • Considering the trends listed above, we expect to see an acceleration in the trend where people are paid for their achievements, regardless of time, place, type of employment, age or gender.
  • As another aspect, more companies are expected to minimize economic activities dependent on human resources that potentially have the risks of spreading the infection, and promote automation and labor-saving by utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies. In some industries, employment may not be recovering even in the ultra-long term.
(4) Increased risk of overcrowded areas/rural migration


[Social issues that will be resolved quickly]

Realize a society that expands access to education, vocational training, and advanced technology without regional disparities.
Realize a society in which all people can use information networks regardless of time or place.
Realize a society where people can live without disparity, even in depopulated and remote areas.
Realize a society that builds a sustainable urban environment by reducing problems caused by congested population.

  • The acceleration of working-from-home and the high risk of infection in crowded areas may demotivate people to live in cities.
  • In a recession, the cost of living may be substantially lowered, and this will promote people to relocate to the rural areas or live in multiple locations wherethe risk of infection is lower…
  • As a result, rural areas will also need to expand access to education, healthcare, and various professions, as well as develop the network environment and administrative systems that serve as their basic infrastructure.
    • (Example) Hotchalk partners with universities and educational institutions across the U.S. to offer “online master’s programs” for children, teachers, and parents.
  • Depending on the level of development described above, disparities may be wider even among regions (capital accumulation in the areas with good networks and migration environments, such as the Kamiyama Valley, Tokushima).
  • In some cases, the productivity of salespeople at regional offices will be declined, and new mechanisms to ensure motivation and productivity are being developed.


<Short term (~6 months) change>

Recommend work-from-home and restrain investment in an uncertain environment

<Medium-term (6 months to 3 years) change>

(5) Bringing business online
[Accelerating Growth Area]

Video distribution and production technology
Smart Office
Next-Generation display
Next-Generation digital signage

[Social issues that will be resolved quickly]

Realize a society free of unauthorized information access and cybercrimes.

  • Working from home is accelerating to prevent the spread of infection. Administrative support such as telework subsidies is also becoming a huge support.
  • In addition, not only is the workplace environment moving online, but businesses that were previously offline (such as retailing and events) are also moving online.
  • There is likely to be an increase in offering services that promote working more efficiently online while minimizing the physical office.
    • For example, JINS wearable devices such as JINS MEME, which can check the user’s concentration level on an app based on the data such as the user’s blinking, eye movement and body movements.
  • The technology and communication infrastructure for video and image delivery to support teleworking is spreading at an accelerating pace. At the same time, AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) technologies are also expected to make progress.
  • On the other hand, security issues such as personal information management and cyber-attack measures are increasing, and more effective solutions may be required to solve them.

<Long term (3 years and on) change>

(6) Establish a supply chain that minimizes geographic risk and infection spread risk
(Local production for local consumption or acceleration of global decentralization)


[Accelerating Growth Area]

Drive assist / Autonomous driving / Traffic accident prevention
Transportation / Logistics IoT
Factory automation / Industrial robots

  • Business efficiency and cost-cutting pressures due to the recession and the need to reorganize supply chains in all industries in order to establish a stable supply system for goods in the event of another pandemic
  • Restructuring will proceed in two directions: “local production for local consumption”, in which what is consumed locally is procured/manufactured locally, and “global decentralization”, in which what is consumed locally can be procured/manufactured elsewhere even in the event of a pandemic in a certain region.
    • In this trend, with the aim of minimizing inventory and other risks and designing a supply chain that enables efficient operation, the practical application of logistics IoT, such as RFID, which enables product management, reduction of return losses, and improvement of loading rate, is progressing.
  • In other words, more investment will be made in building the supply chains that do not rely on human capital such as automated driving and factory automation.
    • For example, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and others are developing technologies for the implementation of automated transport vessels by 2025 in the field of marine cargo.
    • Even at the enterprise level, Wandelbots, founded in 2017 in Germany, made it possible to program their movements of robots (robot teaching) produced by twelve of the industry’s major manufacturers by working in jackets with dozens of built-in sensors.
  • The establishment of information and communication technologies such as the 5G standard is essential for these logistics IoTs, and it is expected to establish technologies centered on automation while improving existing technologies in the future.


<Short term (~6 months) change>

A society focused on investment in COVID-19 treatment

<Medium-term (6 months to 3 years) change>

(7) Bringing education and healthcare online.


[Accelerating Growth Area]

Preventive medicine / Regional comprehensive community care
Data health / Medical big data
Biological information / Digital health
Telemedicine / Telesurgery
Surgical robots and surgical support systems
Education and EdTech

[Social issues that will be resolved quickly]

Realize a society that enables precision medicine for personally-optimized medical care for everyone.
Realize a society that enables everyone to receive appropriate medical and health services.
Realize a society that enables everyone to use medication appropriately.
Realize a society that promotes the development of medical personnel and technology.

  • The investment in COVID-19 treatment and the restructuring of the existing medical system will lead to more online medical care and more efficient operations. The following initiatives ahead of us are instructive
    • Remote surgery: Da Vinci, a robot for endoscopic surgery developed for the purpose of performing surgery by remote control, was approved by the FDA in 2000. It is estimated that the size of the market for these surgery assisting robots is about 400 billion yen.
    • Wearable & Ubiquitous Medicine: In the US, a service that monitors medication behavior and vitals of patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension with a band-aid-type patch and generates analytical reports to help clinicians diagnose them.
    • Effective medical operations using data: In Japan, the government, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW), and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), are leading the way in establishing a model hospital to introduce an AI hospital system by the end of FY2022, which will include: building a high-security medical information database; improving communication between doctors and patients with AI support and reducing the burden on medical professionals; and using AI for remote imaging, pathological diagnosis, and ultra-precise diagnosis using blood.
  • As for education, the company accelerated its online education business due to the closure of schools and other measures taken in the aftermath of the COVID-19 shock. There are already some examples as follows
    • In 2014, “Imagineers” released the educational video media “10MTV Opinion,” a joint project with NTT DoCoMo, Inc. This is a 10-minute lecture video of an adult education featuring experts from various fields, including academics, doctors, and business executives. It is also available on a smartphone app, thus it makes it always easy to understand and enjoy learning.
    • “Clear” offered by Arcturus is an app that is driven by “student (learner) autonomy” by taking pictures of your own notes with your smartphone and sharing them with each other, viewing other students’ notes, and asking questions. By interacting with other students, you can prevent the loss of motivation that is often a problem in online schools.

<Long term (3 years and on) change>

(8) Decreased public safety / Establishment of new security


[Social issues that will be resolved quickly]

Achieve a society that eradicates domestic violence
Achieve a society that eradicates all forms of violence, including terrorism.
Achieve a society that eliminates violence and illegal trade by criminal organizations.
Achieve a society that predicts, prevents, and deters crimes other than violence.

  • The global rise in unemployment due to the recession, increased stress and anxiety, and reduced scrutiny from others due to reduced outing will result in increased crime rate and it will become a serious social issue.
  • There will be an increase in online fraud and other crimes related to aid money and transactions of scarce goods such as facial masks. There is an urgent need for secure and reliable collateral for online transactions
    • Klarna, a payment service for e-commerce, is expected to become more popular, requiring only your email address and zip code (no credit card required), and allows you to pay later with an invoice that arrives after your purchase.
  • Robberies and other violent crimes are also on the rise, and a new security maintenance mechanism is desired by both the public and private sectors.
    • Services such as eufyCam, a wireless, 365-day sustainable security camera, are likely to spread.
  • If mass outbreaks of infection occur and the activities of police and other security agencies slow down, there is a possibility of an increase in violent crimes such as terrorism.
    • The following initiatives are likely to make progress. Dataminr’s real-time information monitoring and analysis service using AI, which does not rely on human hands, to detect the risk of signs of crime from the information (billions every day) including social media, blogs and various other content.
    • Quanergy Systems enables real-time 3D mapping and object detection, tracking, and classification with smart sensing technology. Q-Guard with this sensing technology provides an intruder detection function and can be used for airport and border security.
(9) Recession / Distrust of capitalism and pursuit of new economic stability


[Social issues that will be resolved quickly]

Realize a society that enables everyone to enjoy a healthy and cultural life.
Realize a society that promotes the business ecosystem to end poverty and disparity.
Realize a society that enables production and supply of nutritious food to everyone who need it.
Realize a society where fair and highly transparent public institutions are properly governed.
Realize a society that expands the business ecosystem aimed at global economic stability
Realize a society that develops cooperatively through communication regardless of differences in culture and language.

  • This will be the biggest recession since the Great Depression, as people spending less and refraining from going out, and companies cut down on investment, resulting in increase in unemployment and a fall of wages.
  • The possibility of political uncertainty between nations may increase due to distrust of other countries’ countermeasure to the COVID-19 and the competition for masks and other supplies, as well as the awareness that globalization has contributed to causing a global pandemic.
  • Even within countries, the approval ratings will be drastically changed depending on the performance of the government’s/party’s policies in response to the COVID-19 shock. There are likely to be increasing disparities between those who affected by the COVID-19 shock and those who were not, as well as the worsening of various economic and social challenges such as the spread of infections and food problems in developing countries with poor health care system.
  • The development of new economic systems and private services, such as financial services, will be required to solve these problems.


astamuse has built and utilized one of the world’s largest innovation capital databases with approximately 200 million entries, and classifies and analyzes them into “growth areas” and “social issues” that humanity must solve in response to the SDGs. In this analysis, we forecasted using our own definition of “136 promising growth areas in 2025” and “105 social issues to be solved for the future” that correspond to the 17 SDGs targets. The examples listed above are only a small part of the vast amount of information, but I hope they give you an idea of how things are changing from an individual, corporate and social perspective.

We provide consulting services for new business creation using our database and sell “Growth Areas Report” and “Social Issues Report” which contain various analytical data in various fields. The content of the report can also be customized to meet your specific needs, such as a cross-sectional understanding of multiple disciplines and issues, in-depth analysis of specific areas, or consideration of specific alliance partners. For more information, please contact us at the following

We hope to help more companies find business opportunities in this unprecedented crisis.




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