I am Akio Niinobe, appointed Chairman of Japan Medical Imaging and Radiological Systems Industries Association (JIRA) on June 7, 2018.
As the newly appointed chairman, while following the policies and directions established by my predecessors, including the previous chairman, and continuing their trajectories, I will be further enhancing and developing the activities of the Association.
Since its establishment in 1967, JIRA has grown into an industry organization with approximately 190 member companies. In commemoration of its milestone 50th anniversary last year in 2017, the Association held various commemorative events. I would like to take this opportunity to once again express my thanks to all involved.
Currently, JIRA activities are based on the “JIRA Medical Imaging Systems Industry Vision 2020” formulated in 2013 as the basic strategy, and action plans are formulated and activities conducted based on this vision. There are only two years remaining of this vision. In the next two years, we will be conducting division activities and committee activities with our member companies, working towards the culmination of Vision 2020. Going forward, I also intend to thoroughly consider JIRA’s response to the 2025 issue that is fast approaching.
JIRA is an industry association consist from companies that develop, manufacture, and distribute diagnostic imaging equipment and systems such as X-ray diagnostic devices, X-ray CT devices, MRI devices, diagnostic devices for nuclear medicine, ultrasonic diagnostic devices, and diagnostic image processing systems, as well as radiation therapy devices, health software, and related items. Since its establishment, the Association has moved forward in step with advances in medicine, continuing to implement steady and unceasing activities such as the standardization of JIRA products and making proposals to government agencies, continuously considering issues in keeping with the demands of the times. Currently in addition to the permanent organizations for our corporate activities, we also have four divisions conducting specialized activities and 12 committees conducting cross-sectional activities, and we address the various issues common to the medical imaging systems industry in our activities.
Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, healthcare and the medical device industry, which had traditionally been viewed as the cost of social security, has begun to be viewed from the perspective of being a prominent growth industry area. The 2013 “Japan Revitalization Strategy—JAPAN is BACK” has been revised every year, and following the “Japan Revitalization Strategy 2016—Towards the 4th Industrial Revolution”, in 2017, the “Future Investment Strategy 2017—Society 5.0” received Cabinet approval.
Listed at the top of the strategic areas for “Society 5.0” is “the extension of the healthy lifespan”. Meanwhile, the globalization of the healthcare / medical device industry is being promoted as a national policy, the global market is expected to see growth of approximately 5%, and competition in the medical device market, which is expected to exceed 400 billion dollars in 2020, is becoming increasingly severe. With these major changes in the environment, the healthcare and medical device industry is being faced with a storm of change. JIRA will face this storm head on, discerning its direction to resolve the issues it is currently facing one by one, contributing to the advancement of the medical device industry.
We also focus on supporting member companies' development of overseas markets while ensuring conformity to international rules and systems for the internationalization of Japanese medical and industrial growth and for collecting market information on emerging countries. These efforts are made in collaboration with government ministries, Medical Excellence Japan (MEJ), and other related organizations and academic societies. In addition, JIRA found DITTA1) an international organization of the imaging diagnostic equipment industry, with COCIR2) and NEMA-MITA3) to boost international assertiveness as the vice chair. We proposed environmental improvements for the global medical industry in the IMDRF4) meeting in Florianopolis in September 2016 and the meeting in Vancouver in March 2017.
JIRA is also working on issues related to the future of medical care and the promotion of ICT utilization, medical exposure management, and revitalization of JIRA's business foundation, including market statistics, actual condition surveys of introduction, and promotional activities for member companies. At the same time, compliance is an essential issue for member companies and industry. We will provide member companies with opportunities to earnestly and safely address common issues related to compliance.
We believe that our mission is to contribute the healthy development of Japan's medical equipment industry through revitalization of the medical imaging system industry, leading to improved medical equipment and a better quality of life for people of the world. JIRA and each member company will continue to develop the industry together. We would appreciate your understanding and continued cooperation.
JIRA Chairman Akio Niinobe