Press Release

Joint Establishment of Marketing Company with View to Developing Medical Robots

  Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (HQ: Kobe, Japan; President: Shigeru Murayama; hereinafter, “Kawasaki”) and Sysmex Corporation (HQ: Kobe, Japan; Chairman and CEO: Hisashi Ietsugu; hereinafter, “Sysmex”) have jointly established Medicaroid Corporation (HQ: Kobe, Japan; President: Yasuhiko Hashimoto, hereinafter, “Medicaroid”) to conduct market research with a view to the development, manufacture and sales of medical robots,1.
 In keeping with expectations that global demand for medical robots will increase, Medicaroid will put in place systems with a view toward their future development, manufacture and sale.
 The new company will leverage the strengths of its two investors: Kawasaki, which has technological expertise in industrial robots, and Sysmex, which possesses testing and diagnostic technologies, as well as a broad-ranging network in the medical field. Taking advantage of these capabilities, Medicaroid will reinforce marketing activities as it contributes to the development of the global medical industry.

1. Background
  Japan and other advanced countries are seeing an increased prevalence of lifestyle diseases2 in line with the rapid aging of their populations. Soaring medical costs accompanying this rise represents a growing societal problem. In addition, medical demand is increasing and growing more diverse, owing to rising interest in preventive medicine and personalized medicine3. Against this backdrop, robots are being seen as potentially contributing to the selection of treatment methods that are optimal for, and place a reduced burden, on the patient, as well as a way of holding down medical costs for society as a whole, minimizing treatment through the early detection of illness and the use of minimally invasive treatment4 to encourage early recovery.
  The Japanese government has designated medical instruments as a strategic industry for cultivation and intends for this field to be a pillar of Japan’s economic resurgence. The government aims to reinforce the domestic medical instruments industry, which is currently experiencing an unfavorable balance of trade. In the near future, the government plans to promote the development of this business in emerging markets as their populations age. Robots are expected to play a growing role in these activities.
  In fiscal 2012, Kawasaki and Sysmex set up a medical robot study group to consider roadblocks along the path to commercializing medical robots. As a result of this study, the two companies have decided to pool their technologies and sales networks to develop this business in Japan and overseas, believing that they can develop an internationally competitive business.

2. Overviews
  In October 2013, Medicaroid commenced marketing activities with a view to the development of medical robots.
  The development, manufacture and sale of medical robots involve clinical studies5 including clinical trials6, regulatory approval, the creation of a sales network and other major investments, as well as long-term commercialization, and product planning is vital. Medicaroid is tasked with conducting optimal product planning that takes into account medical trends and matches clinical needs. The company will also promote the development of systems that take into account future sales on a global scale from the product planning stage.
  To achieve these objectives, Medicaroid will combine robotics technologies founded on Kawasaki’s manufacturing prowess, with Sysmex’s technologies and expertise in the fields of testing and diagnostics, as well as its global medical network.
  These activities will be conducted in Kobe, which is being promoted as a key city for leading-edge healthcare technology (Port Island), with collaboration among healthcare professionals at university hospitals and other institutions, companies and governmental organizations. At the same time, the company will promote efficient marketing activities with the aim of developing Japan make medical robots that will be competitive on a global stage.

3. Medicaroid’s Line of Business
  Medicaroid will conduct marketing activities that take into account the needs of healthcare professionals. At the same time, the new company will conduct product planning that considers the possibility of multifaceted commercialization, as well as future medical trends. The company will also promote collaboration in many areas leading to commercialization, including university hospitals and other healthcare institutions, companies that possess specialized technology and government agencies with which the company can discuss  regulatory approvals.
  In addition, Medicaroid will draft business plans and work with Kawasaki and Sysmex on product development, manufacturing, sales and the establishment of service structures.

4. Outlook
  The company commenced operations in October 2013 in an office located in the Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster (Port Island). Until fiscal 2014, the company will concentrate on medical robot marketing and product planning. In addition, the company will cultivate an environment that encourages collaboration among companies, government agencies and academia as an open platform. In fiscal 2015, Medicaroid will gradually transition to development, manufacturing, sales and services. The company aims to generate sales of ¥100 billion by 2030.


Overview of Medicaroid

Medicaroid Corporation

  Location: Kobe International Business Center 503, 5-5-2 Minatojima Minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe
  Established: August 30, 2013
  Capital: ¥10 million
  Equity ownership: Kawasaki, 50%
    Sysmex, 50%
  President: Yasuhiko Hashimoto (Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.)
  Vice President: Kaoru Asano (Sysmex Corporation)
  Directors and employees: 11
  Lines of business: Marketing related to the commercialization of medical robots



Overview of Participating Companies
・Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.
Address: 1-1, Higashikawasaki-cho 3-chome, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
Representative: Shigeru Murayama, President
Lines of Business: Manufacture and sales of ships, rolling stock, aircraft, gas turbines, prime movers, industrial machinery, environmental equipment, motorcycles, hydraulic components, industrial robots and construction machinery

・Sysmex Corporation

Address: 1-5-1, Wakinohama-Kaigandori, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture

Hisashi Ietsugu, Chairman and CEO

Lines of Business: Development, manufacture, sales, import and export of diagnostics instruments and reagents, and related software

Career History of the President of Medicaroid Corporation

Yasuhiko Hashimoto

Place of birth:

Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture

Date of birth:

May 15, 1957



March 1981

Graduated from the Department of Industrial Mechanical Engineering, The University of Tokyo

Career History:

April 1981

Entered Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.


July 2004

Vice President of Kawasaki Robotics (U.S.A), Inc.


April 2012

General Manager, Robot Division, Precision Machinery Company, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.


April 2013

Executive Officer; General Manager, Robot Division, Precision Machinery Company, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.


October 1, 2013

Concurrently Executive Officer; General Manager, Robot Division, Precision Machinery Company, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.; and appointed President and Representative Officer of Medicaroid Corporation

Career History of the Vice President of Medicaroid Corporation

Kaoru Asano

Place of birth:

Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture

Date of birth:

October 19, 1958


March 1983

Graduated from Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, majoring in Electronic Engineering

Career History:

August 1987

Joined Toa Medical Electronics Co., Ltd. (Presently Sysmex Corporation)


April 2005

Executive Vice President of Central Research Laboratories, Sysmex Corporation


April 2009

Executive Officer, Executive Vice President of Central Research Laboratories, Sysmex Corporation


April 2011

Executive Officer, Executive Vice President of R&D Strategic Planning Division, Sysmex Corporation


April 2013

Senior Executive Officer, Sysmex Corporation


October 1, 2013

Senior Executive Officer, Sysmex Corporation; and appointed Vice President and Representative Officer of Medicaroid Corporation

1: Medical robots
  These robots, which are used in the medical field, are broadly of two types. Falling into the category of industrial robots are those that allow people (workers) to distance themselves from drug manufacturing and dispensing processes. Surgery support and irradiation robots, on the other hand, come into contact and work with people (patients). In principle, the latter type is subject to clinical trials before they can be sold, and require approval by regulatory authority as part of their certification under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act.
2: Lifestyle diseases

A category of diseases caused or aggravated by lifestyle habits such as diet, exercise, recreation, smoking, eating and drinking. The principal lifestyle diseases that occur in Japan are cancer, cerebrovascular disease and cardiac illnesses, and these are the three leading causes of death among Japanese people.

3: Personalized medicine
  Typically referred to as “tailor-made treatment,” personalized medicine is treatment designed to meet specific characteristics of an individual patient.
4: Minimally invasive treatment
  This sort of treatment aims to minimize the burden that surgery and drug dosage place on a patient’s body, in terms of factors such as pain, fever or blood loss. Minimally invasive treatment might include, for example, the use of medical equipment such as endoscopes and catheters to reduce the burden on the patient’s body and encourage rapid recovery.

Clinical studies


Studies conducted to confirm the safety and efficacy of new drugs and medical devices.


Clinical trials

  A type of clinical study pertaining to the manufacture and sale of drugs and medicines or medical instruments to obtain regulatory approval under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act.

  • Information contained in the press release is current as of the date of the announcement,
    but may be subject to change without prior notice.

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