Marubeni Concludes a Joint Development Agreement for a Medical Image Diagnostic System Using Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Apr. 10. 2019
Marubeni Corporation

Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, “Marubeni”), US-based company Enlitic, Inc. (hereinafter, “Enlitic”)(*1), and Konica Minolta, Inc. (hereinafter, “Konica Minolta”) have signed a joint development agreement for a chest X-ray medical diagnostic imaging system (hereinafter, the " System") which uses applied artificial intelligence.

The first stage of development for the Japanese market will focus on the development of this System to aid in primary care(*2) and medical examination, with an emphasis on early detection of lesions.
Through this joint development agreement, Marubeni will combine Enlitic's technology with the product development capabilities of Konica Minolta to accelerate the development of AI that supports primary care and medical examinations. Marubeni believes that it is possible to reduce the burden on patients, medical radiologists and doctors by using AI that has learned specialists' primary care skills. In this way, the System will support primary care sites.
Chest X-rays are a common medical examination because, in addition to being relatively easy to perform, many different types of lesions can be detected at once. On the other hand, X-ray images show multiple tissues overlapping, meaning that lesions often cannot be distinguished without taking many more images, which in turn causes increased burden on the doctor. Additionally, given the environment surrounding medical care and the various social issues brought about by Japan’s low birth rate and aging population, hospitals are experiencing a shortage of radiologists, the specialists who are able to make diagnoses from X-ray images.
The use of AI is expected to eliminate the problem of doctor shortages by improving the efficiency of diagnostic imaging at medical examination sites where a large amount of diagnostic work must be done within a limited time. It is also expected to play a role in enabling early detection and reducing false positives by improving diagnostic accuracy.
It is widely recognized that the global digital healthcare(*3) market, which includes imaging diagnostics, is expected to reach 10 billion US dollars in size by 2020.
Marubeni is set to collaborate with multiple medical partners who specialize in AI in order to build this platform into a comprehensive AI prophylaxis and diagnostics service which will greatly contribute to Japan’s digital healthcare industry.

(*1). Marubeni concluded an exclusive business alliance agreement with Enlitic in December, 2018
Reference: News Release on January 7th, 2019
“Marubeni Takes Capital Stake in U.S. AI Medical Imaging Diagnostic Systems Developer Enlitic Inc., Enters Into Exclusive Partnership in the Japanese Market”
(*2). Community medical care that provides comprehensive consultations on a broad range of medical issues (Reference: Japan Primary Care Association)
(*3). New healthcare products and services that utilize AI and other advanced technologies

About Enlitic Inc.    
Company Name Enlitic, Inc.
Headquarters San Francisco, California USA
Established 2014
Business Activities AI based Image Diagnosis Systems Development and Solution Provision
Homepage https://www.enlitic.com/
About Konica Minolta    
Company Name Konica Minolta, Inc.
Headquarters JP TOWER, 2-7-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-7015, Japan
Established 1936
Business Activities Business Technologies Business, Healthcare Business, Industrial Business
Homepage https://www.konicaminolta.com