Artificial intelligence (AI) and other information technologies are gaining attention as core technologies for innovation needed to create the next-generation industrial structure. In recent years healthcare institutions have been handling an increasing diversity and quantity of data due to such factors as the proliferation of gene testing, which involves massive quantities of genome information, and growing interest in preventive medicine. This explosion in the quantity of data is being accompanied by anticipation of information technologies that can help medical institutions optimize their operations and enhance quality, as well as develop precise diagnostic methods and technologies for predicting drug efficacy, which are needed for personalized medicine.
To reinforce its R&D related to information analysis technology, centered on bioinformatics, Sysmex established a new R&D facility, the Skyfront Research Campus, within the Life Innovation Center, located in the Kawasaki INnovation Gateway at SKYFRONT, in the Tonomachi area of Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, in 2017.1 Sysmex has also formed an alliance with OPTiM Corporation in the field of “advanced medicine x AI and IoT” to accelerate the development and deployment of IT solutions and platforms to support next-generation healthcare and diagnostics.2 Through initiatives such as these, we are leveraging information technologies to foster innovation in the healthcare field.
In 2016, Osaka University established the Institute for Datability Science to promote the use of big data, cultivate AI and other sophisticated information technologies, and promote interdisciplinary research3 to foster the creation of social, public and economic value. The university is also concentrating on the cultivation of deployment-ready personnel in the AI field by conducting educational courses targeting researchers and engineers.
About the Comprehensive Collaboration Agreement
On May 24, 2019, Sysmex and Osaka University signed a comprehensive collaboration agreement to leverage Sysmex’s diagnostic technologies and the knowledge Osaka University possesses in the field of information science to cultivate new diagnostic technologies for use in personalized medicine and preventive/preemptive medicine, the creation of new healthcare businesses, joint research, and support for student researchers. The agreement, which commenced in May 2019, is slated to last until March 2022.
The joint research is aimed at fostering innovation in the healthcare field. To this end, the two parties will consider and set themes for joint research and then pursue research in these areas. To support student researchers, Osaka University students will be invited to participate in research themes established for joint research or those that Sysmex is pursuing independently. In August, Sysmex will begin hosting such students at Technopark, its R&D hub.
In fiscal 2017, Sysmex also began participating in the Initiative for the Implementation of the Diversity Research Environment (Collaboration Type),4 which is being promoted by Osaka University. Through initiatives to cultivate female researchers, Sysmex will actively encourage female researchers to take part in joint research and support for student researchers under this comprehensive collaboration agreement.
By eliciting synergies between the two parties, Sysmex and Osaka University aim to foster innovation in the healthcare field that leverages sophisticated information technologies, contributing to the advancement of healthcare and the healthy lives of people.