TOKYO -- Fujifilm will launch a medical screening service in emerging markets, with its first facility slated for a February launch in India, the company said on Monday.
The service will check for signs of cancer and lifestyle diseases using the company's medical equipment and artificial intelligence-based diagnosis technology.
Fujifilm aims to open 100 similar facilities in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and other regions. The Japanese company will partner with Indian hospital operator Dr. Kutty's Healthcare in forming a new company to operate the facility.
The center will open on Feb. 4 in Bangalore and screen for cancer -- including breast and oral cancers -- as well as for early signs of pulmonary disease and heart attacks.
Fujifilm said the service will perform many of the same screenings as those done in comprehensive physical examinations.
The service will analyze images from CT scans or use mammography and technologies to help with diagnosis. Prices will not exceed about 20,000 yen ($193) thanks to the use of AI.
Fujifilm will target medium- to high-income earners in Bangalore, a large IT hub. It also hopes the facility's services will be covered by employee benefit programs and insurance plans, with the goal of screening 10,000 patients annually.
Fujifilm plans to expand the business to major Indian cities, as well as the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Vietnam and other countries. It also plans to roll out mobile clinics to offer screenings at factories and in suburbs.
Few facilities for physical exams are available in emerging countries, where regular health checkups are not the norm. Only about 30% of cancer patients survive for five years in India -- much lower than in advanced nations.
Fujifilm manufactures and sells X-ray imaging devices and endoscopes. It has in the past operated checkup programs for governments of emerging countries, but this is the first time it will run a screening facility. The company has "no plan to operate one in Japan at this point," a company spokesperson said.
In order to help detect cancers and lifestyle diseases early in emerging countries, the company will encourage regular health checkups. Performance of the Banglaore screening center and staff input will help Fujifilm develop new medical equipment.