The first stage of development for the Japanese market will focus on the development of this System to aid in primary care and medical examination, with an emphasis on early detection of lesions.

Through this joint development agreement, Marubeni will combine Enlitic’s technology with the product development capabilities of Konica Minolta to accelerate the development of AI that supports primary care and medical examinations. Marubeni believes that it is possible to reduce the burden on patients, medical radiologists and doctors by using AI that has learned specialists’ primary care skills. In this way, the System will support primary care sites.

Chest X-rays are a common medical examination because, in addition to being relatively easy to perform, many different types of lesions can be detected at once. On the other hand, X-ray images show multiple tissues overlapping, meaning that lesions often cannot be distinguished without taking many more images, which in turn causes increased burden on the doctor. Additionally, given the environment surrounding medical care and the various social issues brought about by Japan’s low birth rate and aging population, hospitals are experiencing a shortage of radiologists, the specialists who are able to make diagnoses from X-ray images.

The use of AI is expected to eliminate the problem of doctor shortages by improving the efficiency of diagnostic imaging at medical examination sites where a large amount of diagnostic work must be done within a limited time. It is also expected to play a role in enabling early detection and reducing false positives by improving diagnostic accuracy.

It is widely recognized that the global digital healthcare market, which includes imaging diagnostics, is expected to reach 10 billion US dollars in size by 2020.

Marubeni is set to collaborate with multiple medical partners who specialize in AI in order to build this platform into a comprehensive AI prophylaxis and diagnostics service which will greatly contribute to Japan’s digital healthcare industry.

Source: Company Press Release