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Table 1 Argued potential benefits from the Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization’s biobank project

From: Ethical challenges for the design and conduct of mega-biobanking from Great East Japan Earthquake victims

Beneficiary Short-term benefits Long-term benefits
Individual research subjects Free additional health examinations in addition to those given by the national health-checkup program Individual health will be years-long watched over with loving eyes by the researchers
Receiving individual results of the proven baseline health examinations Discovered clinically-assessed individual genetic risk information as well as incidental findings will be returned
Specialist referral services
Local communities in the quake-hit regions Deployment of young researcher-physicians for clinical services in three shifts of four months each in quake-hit areas Repairment of the damaged local healthcare system
Mitigation of brain drain Solving a shortage of medical resources
Promotion of local investment and employment Improvement of the Tohoku’s long-standing substandard healthcare infrastructure
Clustering healthcare industries
Boosting the general local economy
Attracting young people and medical professionals to move into the region
Access to epidemiological findings on quake-/stress-induced diseases
National population None Economic recovery
Promotion of medical innovations
Creation of a model of a new healthcare system combined with the healthcare IT network
   Materialization of personalized medicine and prevention through a huge human genetic database and results of the cohort study