Materiality 2 Contributing to Healthy, Safe, Secure Lives
Basic Ideas and Visions
"Healthy, safe and secure lives" is a common desire for all people. By further mastering the "Observation, Measurement, and Analysis" (measurement and analysis technology) that we have cultivated up until now, the Hitachi High-Tech Group will contribute to a future where people can continue to live healthy and fulfilling lives, centered on three fields of medicine, water/ food, and social infrastructure.
1. Expand access to preventive medicine
By developing and providing testing systems that enable highly-efficient diagnoses, we will help to shorten testing times, increase the number of people who receive health checkups, and reduce testing fees. In addition, by developing and providing clinical analyzers and genetic analysis systems, we will respond to the higher needs for personalized medicine and contribute to the promotion of preventive medicine and to curbing medical expenditures.
2. Ensure the safety of water and food
We will help prevent the accumulation of hazardous substances in water, food, the human body, and elsewhere by developing and providing testing systems specialized for specific markets. In addition, we will supply safe water and support people’s safe lives by providing measurement systems for filtered water and drainage in water and sewage systems.
3. Ensure the safety of social infrastructure
By realizing non-destructive rapid diagnosis and predictive diagnosis for structures such as roadways, tunnels, railways, and airports, we will contribute to ensuring the safety of social infrastructure and support the safe lives of people.
Analytical & Medical Solutions
Value Chain Solutions
Core Technology Solutions
Content of Initiative
Action Targets 1 Expand access to preventive medicine
1 Provide molecular diagnostic testing services and equipment that contributes to the diagnosis and treatment of intractable diseases (e.g., cancer)
Further expanding possibilities for collaborative creation with business partners and customers at the new Healthcare Innovation Center Tokyo
Healthcare Innovation Center Tokyo, an integrated laboratory established in October 2022, serves as a conventional showroom and facilitates equipment training and collaborative creation with business partners and customers by holding regular seminars and workshops, disseminating information, and conducting experiments. Taking advantage of its location, which provides convenient transportation access as it is directly connected to the Haneda area and Tenkubashi Station, we are promoting the use of this facility as a base for energetic interactions with business partners and customers.
Healthcare Innovation Center Tokyo
Initiatives for FY2024
Provide molecular diagnostic testing services and equipment
There is an urgent need to establish and provide clinical testing services that provide more accurate results in a shorter period of time as information necessary for the proper diagnosis of diseases and selection of therapeutic agents in order to tackle the social issues of ever-increasing medical costs and maintenance of the national health insurance system. To address these challenges, Hitachi High-Tech is entering the molecular diagnostics business and strengthening collaborations with other companies in the development of testing services and new equipment. In May 2022, we began partnering with Invivoscribe, Inc., a US-based testing services company, and continue to enhance this partnership with the aim of providing solutions to medical institutions and pharmaceutical companies for cancers of the blood and other areas in molecular diagnostics. We continue to collaborate with US-based Nabsys Inc., in the field of structural analysis of the human genome, and in 2022, we established a technology combining Nabsys and Hitachi High-Tech technologies to analyze human genome mapping data and detect structural changes. To provide physicians and patients with test results that show the suitability and effectiveness of treatments and medications for each patient, we will continue to develop high-precision analysis systems and services that will lead to new methods of disease treatment and prevention.
Infectious Disease Testing Support Solutions
Using scanning electron microscopes to develop technologies leading to the early identification of disease pathogens
The emergence of drug-resistant bacteria due to the abuse of anti-microbials and the repeated development of additional new drugs results in pandemics and is a worldwide problem. Using scanning electron microscopes manufactured and marketed by Hitachi High-Tech in collaboration with IHU–Méditerranée (Mediterranean university hospital research institute for infectious diseases in Marseille, France), we have developed a method for identifying drug-resistant bacteria in one or two hours, whereas it normally takes about 24 hours to obtain results. This method detects minute changes in the shape of bacterial cells in a short period of time, making it possible to quickly determine whether bacteria are drug-resistant. Early identification of disease pathogens enables the rapid determination of treatment plans and administration of the appropriate medication dosages, thereby reducing the physical burdens and life-threatening effects of disease on both humans and livestock. We are developing this observation method with the aim of disseminating it throughout the world through presentations at academic conferences and other events, as well as making it feasible for hospitals and other institutions to perform inspections.
Left: Bacteria before administration of pharmacological agent
Right: Bacteria after administration of pharmacological agent
(Result of reaction after 60 minutes)
Reference: Haddad, G. et al., Front. Microbiol. 2021, 12, 658322.
Action Targets 2 Ensure the safety of water and food
2 Provide equipment and services to detect hazardous substances in products and materials
Contributing to the prevention of hazardous substance leakage through the provision of hazardous substance detection equipment and services
Hazardous substances contained in electrical and electronic equipment are regulated by EU regulations (RoHS Directive) as well as by laws and regulations in each country. To contribute to preventing the spread of substances that pose health hazards, Hitachi High-Tech complies with these regulations and provides equipment that detects hazardous substances during product and material acceptance inspections.
We also connect devices at each site via a network, making it possible to access measurement results regardless of time, day, or location.
The Japanese government has set targets including a cumulative 25% reduction in the emission of one-way plastic (plastic that is discarded after one use) by 2030, and the reuse or recycling of 60% of plastic containers and packaging. Given these developments, awareness of the circular economy is growing in various industries, and the use of recycled materials in plastic materials is also beginning to attract attention.
However, as it is difficult to determine the source of recycled plastic, there are concerns about the potential leakage of substances that can impact soil, water, and the human body. Up to now, Hitachi High-Tech has developed and sold specialized systems for the control of environmentally regulated substances, and in facilitating inspections of recycled plastic materials, we aim to reduce the risk of harmful substances contaminating products made from recycled plastic materials, as well as the risk of harmful substances impacting markets or the environment.
Initiatives for FY2024
By reducing the risk of harmful substances contaminating products made from recycled plastic, we aim to prevent the leakage of harmful substances and further contribute to the recycling of plastic.
At present, additional substances are being considered for regulation under the RoHS Directive, and we are developing a device capable of measuring these substances. Measurement efficiency and data management methods for hazardous substance contamination are also important issues in using recycled plastics, which are gradually attracting attention. We are developing new measurement methods to meet these needs. If successful, these efforts will reduce the risk of hazardous substances entering products and being ingested by humans, thereby contributing to the prevention of soil contamination during disposal. In addition, by contributing to the procurement of safe plastic materials, we will also contribute to the further promotion of plastic recycling and the reduction of plastic waste.
Going forward, in consideration of impacts on the human body and the environment, we will continue rapidly responding to hazardous substances to be able to contribute to safe and secure manufacturing.
Action Targets 3 Ensure the safety of social infrastructure
3 Provide engineering services for photonic integrated circuits (PIC) used in large-scale data centers and core communication networks
Providing PIC technologies for high-speed communication networks that are indispensable for maintaining and improving a safe and comfortable communication environment
To maintain and accelerate the communication environment, IT companies with large data centers, such as GAFAM, require comfortable, reliable, and secure communications infrastructure. Hitachi High-Tech collaborates with VLC Photonics S.L., whose strength lies in silicon photonics design, to provide PICs using technology that contributes to faster optical communications. In FY2022, we contributed to the development of 400 gigabytes and next-generation 800 gigabytes optical transceivers for a customer that develops and manufactures long-distance transmission equipment, thereby contributing to the stable operation of a large-scale data center.
Initiatives for FY2024
Providing engineering services for next-generation PICs to support higher capacity and higher speed data communications and lower power consumption in data centers
In addition to conventional demands such as video streaming, generative AI, automated driving, and other needs are causing data communication fees to increase, and the accompanying surge in power consumption at data centers is becoming a social issue. To resolve this issue, optical transceivers and optical transmission systems using PIC technologies are becoming indispensable. To realize next-generation 1.6 Tbps or higher high-speed communications, VLC Photonics will enhance its PIC-related technologies and establish a system that can undertake the entire process, from designs to optical wafer measurements and packaging, which will contribute to reduced power consumption, shorter development periods, and lower costs for next-generation data centers.
PIC provided by Hitachi High-Tech