Interview with Mr Toshio Takiguchi, CEO and President of Canon Medical Systems Corporation

Canon Medical Systems puts the spotlight on AI-powered solutions

At Arab Health, Canon Medical Systems Corporation is showcasing its full range of AI solutions, including the new Automation Platform for HIT, latest ultrasound technologies, and Advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine across both CT and MR.

In an interview, Toshio Takiguchi, CEO and President of Canon Medical Systems Corporation, said: “It is a great honour to be joining you at this year’s Arab Health as the one and only AI partner.” Excerpts:

Could you tell us how Canon Medical has responded to the COVID-19 crisis?

It’s fair to say that COVID-19 created a great deal of chaos and confusion for healthcare services all around the world. However, I am proud to say that Canon Medical was there, ready to help clinicians deliver the highest standard of care from the very beginning.

The role that medical imaging played in the diagnosis, monitoring, and follow-up of COVID-19 patients cannot be overestimated. Our industry was uniquely placed to provide valuable support where it was needed most, especially with regards to workflow management and scan safety.

To this end, Canon Medical deployed the first ever mobile modular AI-assisted CT system, offering high diagnostic confidence at ultra-low-doses with our Advanced intelligent Clear-IQ Engine (AiCE).

All our manufacturing operations remained up and running, both in Japan and around the world, and we worked closely with our regional teams to expedite the delivery of vital parts and products so that hospitals could continue to scan patients. We also ramped up regional access to our remote servicing solutions, so system uptime could be maintained with minimal contact from onsite engineers. Outside of radiology, we teamed up with Nagasaki University and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases to develop a Rapid Genetic Testing System for the Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that provides results in around 30 minutes.

The theme of Arab Health this year is ‘United by business - Driving the industry forward’. How in your opinion can businesses continue to operate in the new normal?

Ultimately, it’s about being agile. Businesses must be able to pivot when required and think outside the box. This will not be the last pandemic we encounter, which is why we need to be prepared for whatever the future has in store. I predict that AI will play a significant role in this, particularly with regards to automation and accelerated workflows. Digitization and digital transformation will also become more prevalent, especially in the realm of telehealth and remote services, which we have already seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diagnostic imaging is well positioned to support these changes, particularly when it comes to replacing certain procedures, such as those that require aerosol technology.

What impact are technologies such as AI, machine learning, blockchain having on healthcare in your opinion? What are some of the growth areas in the industry?

The list is endless. AI has the power to support better image interpretation, aid in clinical decision making, accelerate workflows, and improve patient safety. It can help alleviate mundane, time consuming tasks and can be a back up to validate data and support clinical decisions. It also has the ability to enable the delivery of more personalized health care. The industry has made great strides in image resolution, which has delivered tangible benefits to hospitals and their patients.

A 2017 World Bank report on universal health coverage revealed that at least half the world’s population still lacks access to essential health services. In 2016, the UN estimated a shortfall of 18 million healthcare workers globally by 2030. The need for AI solutions is greater than ever, which is why we are doing everything we can to push their development.

Uniting care providers and patients with these technologies is a key growth area for every level of our business. Not only because they are integral to helping more people, in more places to access the diagnosis and treatment they need, they also are key to helping us deliver the very best health and business outcomes in line with our ‘Made for Life’ philosophy.

What, according to you, are the opportunities available to healthcare and trade professionals who attend Arab Health?

Participants who attend Arab Health will get to see firsthand the evolution of diagnostic imaging technologies. Nothing quite matches the experience of exploring these innovations up close and personal, which is why we are proud to be leading a range of live demonstrations that will showcase the productivity, operational, and workflow benefits of our solutions.

Could you shed light on any future plans and partnerships?

Canon Medical will continue to invest in the UAE and the Middle East, as it is a key region for our business, and we have already built a range of important and high-profile partnerships in the region. All I can say at this point, is that the future is looking bright and there are lots of plans in the works to localize our service delivery and collaborate with various healthcare settings.

I would also like to wish everyone attending all the very best for this year’s Arab Health. It really is a remarkable event, and I look forward to connecting with many of you in due course. Canon Medical’s commitment to the UAE and Middle East is strong and I hope that we can work together to deliver class-leading solutions to every corner of the region.