Canon Medical Systems (China) Co, the medical equipment arm of Canon Inc, has set up a research center in China with over 100 laboratory technicians, and has plans to establish one more such facility.
Canon Medical executives said they are driven by optimism that the Chinese market will offer many opportunities to further explore applications of artificial intelligence or AI in medical imaging solutions.
They said demand for quality healthcare is rising among China's growing middle-income earners and a section of the population that is aging.
Matsuoka Shin, president and CEO of Canon Medical, said the company, formerly known as Toshiba Medical Systems Corp, is seeking steady and sustainable growth in the world's second-largest economy.
Camera producer Canon Inc recently announced in Beijing the official corporate name change of its medical devices unit, which was acquired from Toshiba Corp for 665.5 billion yen (6.3 billion U.S. dollars) in 2016.
The Beijing-based company has the ability to enter China's medical market at a fast pace, by maximizing the combination of both its rich management resources in the local market and cutting-edge technologies like sensors and inkjet printing techniques, Shin said at a recent news conference.
Since its establishment in 1930, Canon Medical Systems has introduced a number of leading medical systems in partnership with its customers worldwide.
With its global sales and service network, it conducts business around the world, mainly providing diagnostic imaging systems to about 140 countries and regions.
In China, Canon Medical has been enhancing efforts to stay at the forefront of applying AI in medical imaging solutions, said Yue Changhai, its senior vice-president.
According to Yue, Canon Medical started to give priority to research and development as early as four years ago, and has set up in China a R&D team dedicated to AI.
"We are planning to establish another R&D and training center in China, with reach to Asian areas, in order to meet the research and clinical needs," Yue told China Daily on the sidelines of the news conference.
The annual output of China's medical devices segment rose 13 percent year-on-year to 276.5 billion yuan (43.8 billion U.S. dollars) in 2016, according to data compiled by the China Association for the Medical Devices Industry.
The growth rate of China's medical devices output was much higher than that of the global market, said Zhao Changshan, chairman of Zhongguancun Development Group. He made the remarks at the Design of Medical Devices Conference in Beijing last November.
China has become the world's second-largest medical equipment market, followed by the United States, Zhao was quoted as saying by Stdaily.com, an affiliate of Science and Technology Daily.