[As of June 22, 2020]
The research and development activities of the Company has focused on investigation and verification through joint research with physicians who have advanced knowledge in areas of medicine and further activities toward practical application. The Group work on a wide range of areas for the purpose of discovering any and all management resources including software development, various technologies evolving every day via the Internet, artificial intelligence and next-generation platforms in order to respond to customer needs expected to become further diverse and advanced.R&D topics are roughly classified into “R&D on advanced technology” and “R&D on solutions.”
The total amount of the Group’s R&D expenses for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020 was 89,608 thousand yen.
1. R&D on advanced technology
With regard to advanced technology, the Group has conducted multiple joint research projects in the area of ophthalmology using deep learning with a medical college. The Group has registered, disclosed and published the results of such research at meetings of the Japanese Ophthalmology Society and the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence and, furthermore, in an international journal on ophthalmology (two papers published in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020).
The Group’s research on medical AI is not limited to ophthalmology but has been extended to internal medicine, gynecology, dentistry and cardiology. Content-wise, the Group’s research is no longer limited to disease diagnosis support for physicians; the Group has recently embarked on more frontier research on whether what cannot be judged by a physician can be judged by AI. With direct contribution to the development of medicine, contribution to IT through medical AI research and contribution to real business, the Group has conducted research activities as a core for applying findings obtained to other industries.
2. R&D on solutions
By using the results of activities on advanced technology, the Group also works on application to real business. While conducting joint research with medical institutions, the Group provided the results of such research to medical equipment manufacturers and medical ventures; it is now working on another commercialization project that follows “MINERVAE SCOPE.”Since results in areas of medicine take time to be obtained, a little more time is required for them to become public. The Group is also working on industrial applications using findings obtained in areas of medicine. For industrial machinery maintenance work, the Group is conducting joint research on maintenance work support using images just as in medicine. Since common application to all types of industries is difficult at this stage, the Group is focusing on areas where the value of application is commensurate with cost. The research is now just a few steps away from commercialization, and the Group is expected to be able to report the result in the next fiscal year.