Introducing an Asia DX Company that Uses Digital Technology to Solve Social Issues in Asia (2)Fujifilm, a challenge for a healthcare transformation in emerging India
(caption) Japan’s Fujifilm aims to build a network of 100 AI-enabled health screening centers in the worldOnce best known a world-leading maker of photographic film, Fujifilm has reinvented itself as a provider of healthcare products and services. Today, with approximately 30% of its business in the healthcare sector, Fujifilm aims to transform healthcare in India with its new “NURA” health screening centers.
The photographic film manufacturer's DNA and self-transformation: Redefining common sense in healthcare
Globally, companies with expertise in AI technology are actively entering the healthcare industry. They are introducing technology that dramatically improves healthcare work flows and accelerates efforts to ensure a certain level of medical care in countries and regions that have a shortage of medical professionals.
In January, Fujifilm opened its third NURA health screening center in Mumbai with a primary focus on cancer screening. What makes NURA centers special is their integrated AI-enabled workflows. At NURA centers, AI technology is integrated with medical equipment that feature the technologies that Fujifilm has accumulated since its origins as a photographic film maker, such as mammography for high-definition diagnostic images.
Thorough application of AI technology enables the centers to test and report results accurately and more quickly. For example, this new technology has slashed by 97% the time required for lung cancer screening compared to conventional testing. Moreover, since launching services in February 2021, the centers have reported many cases when AI was able to detect small signs of early-stage diseases that physicians weren’t able to.
NURA's success is a result of the synergy between its latest technologies and the market needs of the emerging countries it services.
NURA is a pioneering health screening center that is unparalleled even among developed countries. Why is it based in India, a emerging country?
According to studies, the survival rates of cancer patients in emerging countries are significantly lower than those of developed countries. In India, the five-year survival rate for cancer patients is about 30%. To increase survival rates, it is critically important to screen regularly for early detection and treatment. However, many emerging countries currently don’t have a culture of screening, and there are few facilities with cancer screening services.
Operating medical centers in India and other emerging countries, NURA brings up screening needs and fosters a culture of screening by providing reasonable and high-quality health screening services and communicating the importance of health screening in various opportunities. Promoting early detection and treatment of diseases can reduce mortality rates, improve health, and help solve social issues.
In emerging countries, people are more receptive to receiving AI-enabled diagnostic support, which makes it significant to grow NURA business. Fujifilm aims to open 100 NURA centers not only in Asia but also in emerging regions such as those in Africa.
The government supports the Asia DX challenges
METI is promoting "Asia DX," the creation of new industries in which large Japanese companies and start-ups collaborate with Asian companies and others to solve social issues through the use of digital technology.
Fujifilm runs a range of pilot projects to accelerate launch and development of the NURA business including programs to verify the efficiency and accuracy of medical examinations that apply AI technology to support diagnostic imaging. METI adopted some of the pilot projects for the FY2019 Asia Digital Transformation (ADX) Promotion Project and FY2021 supplementary budget project of Indo-Pacific Regional Supply Chain Resilience Project.
For more details, please refer to METI's Asia DX Project page .
Asia Digital Transformation (ADX) Policy Office