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Bringing Japanese Know-How to the Global Market:
A Visit to Shimadzu Medical Systems
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Shimadzu Headquarters in Kyoto, Japan
Shimadzu Headquarters in Kyoto, Japan
April 24, 2019 -- Tokyo, Japan -- TCROSS NEWS and its global partner, Angioplasty.Org, visited Shimadzu Corporation, a major Japanese company founded in 1875, to learn about its plans for future overseas business development of its angiography systems.

Shimadzu was established 144 years ago and in 1896 succeeded in taking an X-ray photograph, only 11 months after Dr. Wilhelm Roentgen's initial discovery. This pioneering effort formed the foundation of Shimadzu's diagnostic imaging business.

Today, the imaging business accounts for approximately 20% of the company's sales. The Trinias Angiography System, launched in 2015, is Shimadzu's workhorse product, and has the highest adoption rate in Japanese catheterization labs.

Trinias Angiography System
Trinias Angiography System

The Trinias System was developed to reflect the needs of the Japanese interventional community that treats complex lesions, such as chronic total occlusions (CTO), on a daily basis. Because these types of interventions often take increased time to perform, Shimadzu's concept is to "provide the highest image quality with minimal exposure," utilizing technology that keeps the dose low, even in long-term procedures. The Trinias System can also be configured with a biplane option, one which many interventionalists who treat CTOs feel is critical.

SCORE StentView shot
SCORE StentView shot

The SCORE StentView software package for Trinias extracts stent information in real-time from a pulsating image and provides a fixed stent image with enhanced visibility, enabling more reliable device placement. Competitors are also focusing on this type of technology but Shimadzu, which pioneered the StentView technology, goes one step further: its latest system automatically displays the real-time StentView image on a live monitor simply by pressing the foot switch. In addition, noise-cancelling technology, known as the SCORE StentShot, significantly reduces image artifacts, which aids interventional cardiologists in observing and estimating stent configuration.

Shimadzu positioned Trinias as its flagship product in the global market which led the company to form its global marketing division in April and, as a part of this activity, the company established its satellite office in Houston, Texas.

Mr. Yoshiaki Miura, the director of its global business unit, told TCROSS NEWS that "Shimadzu established the Global Marketing Dept. in order to enter these global markets in earnest this April, and has gathered 10 experts in imaging from across the country.”

In addition, Shimadzu is one of the world's leading manufacturer in the field of analysis and measurement instruments. The company made a decision to integrate its management resources into the medical technology systems: for example, it integrates analysis from its angiography system with data from a liquid chromatograph mass spectrometer which possibly allows immediate blood sampling analysis for research applications, called the “AVS Support System.”

Mr. Miura told us that “The blood sample is taken from adrenal gland through a catheter during angiography and its position is recorded on an X-ray. The components of the blood sample are then analyzed and the data processed. As a result, for the first time, angiographic images from each part of the body can be linked to the blood analysis results from spectroscopy."

Nobel Prize awarded to Mr. Koichi Tanaka of Shimadzu

Shimadzu made history in 2002 when its engineering employee, Mr. Koichi Tanaka, was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for innovative technology that is now being used to diagnose the Alzheimer’s disease in the early stage.

This was the first time a company had produced a Nobel Prize winner.


Reported by TCROSS NEWS, Angioplasty.Org's partner in Japan, April 24, 2019