Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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【METI Mobile】Saving lives through manufacturing

Photo: Surgical forceps created through Japanese technology Photo: Surgical forceps created through Japanese technology

Worldwide demand for life-saving medical equipment has doubled in the last decade, creating opportunities for Japan’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to contribute through their world-famous manufacturing technology.

Innovations benefit doctors, patients
One Japanese company that specializes in high-precision processing for car components has developed surgical forceps (pictured) to remove ulcers and other internal lesions. These newly-designed forceps allow doctors to perform less invasive procedures so that patients are more comfortable and need less time to recover.
Manufacturers need insider advice
However, medical equipment development is a challenge for many ordinary SMEs, which primarily manufacture auto parts and household appliances. Most are unfamiliar with the medical equipment currently used in hospitals and how doctors wish to improve it. All newly-developed equipment must also pass a government safety review before launch into the market.
Promoting medicine, manufacturing collaboration
To bridge the gap, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is connecting ambitious SMEs to doctors with specific medical needs. METI matches these doctors with an SME that possesses the appropriate technological know-how. One-on-one consultants will advise SMEs and assist them with safety reviews throughout the development process.
In 2015, METI also jointly established the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW). AMED now conducts research and development in cooperation with enterprises. By connecting exemplary industrial technology with medical treatment in Japan, AMED helps develop medical equipment to benefit the health of people worldwide.
Last updated: 2016-02-04
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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