HOYA and Hitachi have entered a five-year contract to continue supplying endoscopic ultrasound systems (EUS). The primary terms of their agreement state that the companies will strengthen their technical collaboration, and that Hitachi will continue to supply diagnostic ultrasound systems and ultrasound sensor parts to be used in EUS.
EUS technology is used to evaluate the staging of certain cancers and other diseases in the liver, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, and bronchus. It’s a minimally invasive procedure using high-frequency soundwaves to produce imaging of nearby organs. It can be combined with fine-needle aspiration to take tissue and fluid samples from the chest and abdomen.
Hitachi’s diagnostic imaging arm is set to be transferred to the FUIJIFILM Corporation later this year. This reshuffling will be contingent on certain closing conditions and regulatory approvals, but the HOYA and Hitachi partnership will remain valid even after the transfer is made.
On the renewed collaboration, Gerald Bottero, Global President of PENTAX Medical noted, "We are honored to continue our alliance with Hitachi which began with joint research in 1983 leading to the first commercial launch of our EUS in 1990…We look forward to working with Hitachi's world-class research teams to accelerate innovation and wide adoption in this vital space."
The endo-imaging solutions are provided by HOYA’s PENTAX Medical group. HOYA has over 150 offices worldwide and employs 37,000 people in the healthcare and information technology (IT) fields. Some of its innovative products include contact and intraocular lenses, eyeglasses, orthopedic implants, medical endoscopes, surgical and therapeutic devices, and disinfection solutions. On the IT end, HOYA has developed photomasks and blanks for semiconductor manufacturing and mass memory and cloud storage solutions.
Hitachi is focused on Social Innovation Business, in which it combines IT and operations technology (OT) to drive digital innovation. The company employs over 301,000 people worldwide across five sectors – Smart Life, Industry, Mobility, IT, and Energy. Their reported consolidated revenues for their fiscal year 2019 was $80.4 billion. The two companies have been collaborating in some capacity for nearly 40 years.
Leadership of both Hitachi and HOYA have expressed a positive outlook over what’s to come moving forward, and hope to continue exploring novel clinical ways to provide improved diagnostics and treatments.