Resolution of Medical Issues through Innovation

Initiatives for Dementia

There are currently over 55 million people worldwide who live with dementia, and the number of dementia patients is expected to reach 130 million by 2050 as life expectancy increases globally.* Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for 60% to 70% of all dementia cases, is thought to be triggered by an accumulation of plaque consisting of a protein called amyloid beta (Aβ) in the brain, causing cognitive impairment. Therefore, early diagnosis and interventions are considered to enhance effectiveness of treatment targeting Aβ. However, at present, imaging test of the brain (PET imaging) and cerebrospinal fluid testing to identify the accumulation of Aβ are only available at a limited number of institutions, and their high costs and invasiveness impose a burden on patients.
Sysmex has been engaged in the development of technology to identify the accumulation of Aβ in the brain more easily and rapidly in order to help resolve issues in diagnosing Alzheimer's disease. In February 2016, Sysmex and Eisai Co., Ltd. entered into a comprehensive, non-exclusive collaboration agreement for the creation of new diagnostic reagents in the field of dementia. By utilizing each other’s technologies and knowledge, Sysmex has been engaged in the development of next-generation diagnostic reagents that will enable the early diagnosis of dementia, the selection of treatment methods, and the monitoring of the resulting effects.
In June 2023, Sysmex launched diagnostic reagents in Japan that aids determination of Aβ accumulation in the brain by measuring Aβ levels in the blood. These reagents will be used with our automated immunoassay systems based on the chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay (CLEIA) principle. This enables easy and quick testing and reduces physical, emotional, and financial burdens on patients with a suspected Aβ accumulation in the brain. It is expected to contribute to early diagnosis and early determination of optimal treatment for patients.
Going forward, we will continue to create new diagnostic technologies for the prevention and treatment of dementia, aiming to contribute to improving the quality of life (QOL) of patients and their families.

  • Source: Global Status Report on the Public Health Response to the Dementia Executive Summary (Sep. 2, 2021, World Health Organization)
Initiatives for Dementia

Contribution to Healthcare through Surgical Support Robots

In recent years, there have been demands for solutions to social issues such as reducing physical burdens on patients, improving their QOL, the early detection of lesions, providing environments in which healthcare professionals can concentrate on treatment with a sense of security, and equalizing the provision of medical care, such as by rectifying medical disparities among regions. Surgical support robots are utilized in laparoscopic surgery, which aims to reduce the physical burden on patients. These robots support healthcare professionals in performing more precise operations. The market size* of the surgical support robot industry is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13%, reaching approximately 2 trillion yen on a global basis by 2030.
Sysmex began the full-scale introduction of surgical support robots to the Japanese market in 2020. Urological, gastroenterological, and gynecological surgery utilizing these robots are now covered by insurance in Japan, and the cumulative number of such surgery cases had exceeded 1,800 as of the first quarter of the fiscal year ended March 2024. These surgical support robots, equipped with operation arms that move smoothly like a human arm, and the capacity to project high-definition images that vividly display even the smallest details with a full high-definition 3D system, were developed with the aim of contributing to the evolution of medicine. In the future, AI will learn surgeons’ advanced skills and achieve a feedback functionality for surgical procedures, assisting functionality with intraoperative navigation, remote guidance, and remote training. These prospective advancements in AI capabilities are expected to contribute to the improvement of skills and knowledge of healthcare professionals. In addition, Sysmex is currently promoting efforts to add functionalities and to develop guidelines that meet the needs of worksites in collaboration with multiple medical institutions, academic societies, telecommunications service companies, etc. to enable the early clinical implementation of telesurgery, in which a surgeon performs surgery at a distance from the patient.
Sysmex will continue to proceed with its surgical intelligence initiatives and promote digital transformation (DX) to ensure a successful healthcare journey for each patient, including pre-surgery testing and treatment during and after surgery, by combining skills and knowledge developed through testing and diagnostics as well as surgical support robots.

  • The market size is indicated on a customer-purchase-price basis. Source: TechSci Research. The figure for 2030 is Medicaroid’s projection.

Stakeholder’s Voice

Yuuki Hata, Manager in the MR Business Division
Yuuki Hata, Manager in the MR Business Division

We hope to create a workflow that reduces the burdens on healthcare professionals while also providing higher-quality and more appropriate medical care to patients. We hope to help create a world in which all people involved in medical care can work with ease and patients feel less stressed about going to hospitals. This is an ambitious dream, and our mission to realize it acts as a driving force in our daily work.

Contribution to Countermeasures against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

If antimicrobials, which are used to treat infections, are inappropriately used, bacteria in the body may not be terminated sufficiently, and the surviving bacteria may become drug resistant. If drug-resistant bacteria proliferate, antimicrobials will become less effective, making it difficult to treat infections that would otherwise be mild and reversible. If countermeasures against AMR1 (antimicrobial resistance) are not taken, the number of annual deaths due to AMR is expected to exceed 10 million by 2050.2 This is a high figure, estimated to surpass the number of deaths from cancer. For this reason, AMR is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and a variety of other groups as a social issue that must be addressed worldwide.
As a company involved in healthcare, Sysmex is working to establish new testing technologies and to develop products that can resolve this issue. In June 2023, we launched a testing system for rapid detection of antimicrobial susceptibility in Europe, which detects the presence or absence of bacteria and assesses the effectiveness of antimicrobials using urine samples from patients suspected of having urinary tract infections.3 Using a unique and proprietary microfluidic technology,5 the system delivers the results of the antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST)4 in as little as 30 minutes from the start of measurement, a significant reduction compared to the several days required for conventional AST, thereby helping ensure that appropriate antimicrobials are prescribed at first visits to clinics, etc. in primary care.
Sysmex will continuously commit itself to tackling the universal threat of AMR by developing and delivering innovative testing and diagnostic technologies.

  • 1 Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR): This phenomenon occurs when living organisms develop resistance to a drug whose efficacy is decreased or neutralized as a result. Bacteria that have developed antimicrobial resistance are known as antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.
  • 2 Source: “Antimicrobial Resistance: Tackling a Crisis for the Health and Wealth of Nations.” The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, Chaired by Jim O’ Neill.
  • 3 Urinary tract infections (UTIs): UTIs are caused by bacteria that proliferate in the urinary tract, spanning from the kidneys to the urethral outlet, resulting in inflammation. These infections can lead to cystitis in the bladder and pyelonephritis in the kidneys. They are among the most commonly encountered bacterial infections in daily clinical practice, with approximately 60% of women experiencing this at least once in their lifetime.
    *Source: American Urological Association Website “Urinary Tract Infections in Adults”. (Referred on June 20, 2023)
  • 4 Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (AST):
    This is a test to determine the efficacy of various antimicrobial drugs against pathogenic bacteria detected in a sample.
  • 5 Microfluidic technology:
    Sysmex Astrego's unique proprietary technology that involves creating microchannels at the micrometer or nanometer level. This allows individual bacteria from a fluid sample to be captured and cultured unidirectionally within these microchannels, thereby enabling rapid detection of antimicrobial susceptibility.

Stakeholder’s Voice

Tetsuji Umeno, Director in the HUP Business Division (one on the left in the photo)
Mikael Olsson, CEO of Sysmex Astrego AB (on the right in the photo)
Tetsuji Umeno, Director in the HUP Business Division (one on the left in the photo) / Mikael Olsson, CEO of Sysmex Astrego AB (on the right in the photo)

Umeno: Being able to conduct testing easily at any time and see the results quickly not only improves the efficiency of medical care and the patient’s QOL, but also results in a sense of ease for both healthcare professionals and patients.
Olsson: The product we have developed uses a basic platform for testing. By varying the application, we can develop products that can be used for a variety of diseases. Believing in our potential, we will continue working toward a world in which less people have a negative experience due to AMR.