Interview with Chihiro Sasaki, Division Manager, FUJIFILM Middle East FZE.

"Innovation is the current trend that is driving the healthcare industry forward"

In an interview with Arab Health, Chihiro Sasaki, Division Manager, FUJIFILM Middle East FZE, states that advances in technologies are creating vast new possibilities and opportunities in the healthcare sector. The solutions FUJIFILM develops are improving patient care and outcomes and empowering clinicians to provide the best care possible.

Chihiro Sasaki, who joined FUJIFILM Corporation in April 2009, moved to FUJIFILM Middle East FZE as Division Manager in January 2017 and today manages more than 70 countries in Middle East and Africa.


As Division Manager of Medical System for FUJIFILM Middle East FZE, what do you think is currently driving the healthcare industry forward, both in the Middle East and Africa region and globally?

I believe that innovation is the current trend that is driving the healthcare industry forward. Through healthcare innovations, we are experiencing improved life expectancy and quality of life. Clearly, advances in technologies, will create vast new possibilities and opportunities


What current trends do you see specifically in the UAE healthcare industry and what do you see as the growth areas going forward?

The UAE healthcare sector is growing rapidly to meet the requirements of the increasing population and to adapt to the demands of a younger, more health-conscious population. It’s a challenge for us, as one of the healthcare providers, to sustain the needs of the people with the best medical equipment & service at a very reasonable price. Also, the needs of our customers in this field are changing, so we need to provide not only the equipment but also a service including experience in other parts of the world. As a Japanese company, we are working together with Japanese government to look for an opportunity to export Japanese style medical system to the UAE healthcare industry.


What are the major healthcare market segments that are likely to expand, and why is this so?

IT, along with AI (Artificial Intelligence) are increasingly becoming a part of our healthcare eco-system. In order to reduce healthcare workers’ burden, streamline processes, improve accuracy of diagnosis, and offer personalised care with more efficiency, we need to rely on healthcare technology. When healthcare intersects with IT, it transforms the quality of the patient experience. 


What, according to you, are some of the practical steps the region can take to improve their national health systems? 

Statistics clearly indicate that the prevalence of lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension are extremely high in the UAE. Also, with cancer incidence on the rise in the Middle East region including the UAE, we believe that a national screening programme is imperative to reduce the burden of cancer in the country and to bring down cancer fatalities.


How important is innovation in healthcare? What are the technological, medical and strategic innovations that your company brings to the healthcare arena?

We follow two strategies for healthcare. One is IT, which connects each of our medical products and offers total solutions to our customers. FUJIFILM has developed a wide-ranging information and communications technology (ICT) business, which it continues to refine and expand to drive innovation. Secondly, as a leader in the development and application of imaging and information innovations in healthcare technologies, FUJIFILM has brought in revolutionary medical equipment for cancer screening. These include high-precision and high-resolution mammography for breast cancer screening and innovative endoscopic devices that provide better images to diagnose colorectal cancer at its earliest stage.


What new products or innovative technology will you be showcasing at Arab Health 2019?

FUJIFILM is constantly challenging and evolving ideas to improve the lives of people around the world. At the 2019 edition of Arab Health, we will showcase our technological offerings that comprise of new capital equipment as well as our total solutions for IT systems, including AI.


As a company closely associated with Arab Health for the past several years, how would you evaluate the impact of the event on the healthcare industry in the MENA region?

We have always considered Arab Health to be the most important healthcare industry-related event in this region. Hence, we have used this platform year on year to exhibit our latest products and services in order to reiterate our commitment to the healthcare field in this region. We want to say that “we are here in the region for all healthcare professionals”.


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

Arab Health is one of the largest healthcare exhibitions in the world. Participating in the event helps you understand the dynamics of this field in this region.