NAGOYA: An easy-to-build dome house launched originally for use at camping sites or as temporary housing following natural disasters has come into the spotlight as a structure for medical purposes such as examining patients amid the new coronavirus crisis in Japan.
The EZDome House, released in November last year by TCL, a maker of automobile-related products based in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, has a floor space of about 7 square meters and a maximum height of 2.6 meters. The house, made of plastic, can be washed for disinfection and disassembled for storage.
The product drew the interest of Kada Clinic in Koshu, Yamanashi Prefecture, central Japan, which had been planning to set up a space for examinations outside its building as an anti-infection measure. It bought one unit in late March, the first medical institution to do so.
As the company started promoting the product for medical use, it received a flood of inquiries from hospitals and others. It has already delivered 35 units to clients including a general hospital in Tokyo. The product's basic price is set at 858,000 yen.
Kada Clinic has been using the dome house to examine patients from outside the prefecture and those who feel uneasy about entering the waiting room. There are a desk and a bed inside, with an acrylic board installed to separate the doctor and patients.
"We want to create an environment that allows patients to feel safe visiting us," said Akihide Kada, the clinic's head.
TCL plans to get advice from its clients and tweak the product, by adding an extra exit, for example, to make it more usable for medical purposes.
In the meantime, TSP Taiyo Inc., a Tokyo-based group company of tent structure maker Taiyo Kogyo Corp., has started selling and renting out booths for vehicles or tents for polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests to detect the coronavirus.
A testing booth mounted on a van has been used by the local medical association in Kamagaya, Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, and some others.