BreakThrough Study Idea

Why doctors? Is the reason that I began to be involved in the development of medical devicesMasaru Ueki<Series 1 / complete>

Study Idea

2018.03.12

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Promote the development of "Really useful medical equipment" through industry-university collaboration.

At Tottori University Medical School-affiliated hospital / new medical research promotion center to which I belong, we are developing medical equipment with companies. Medical devices developed up to now include 11 products, such as "Attent" which is a leaky paper diaper, medical drill "Moonlight Drill", medical tagging device "Tagurin". The Center has a diversity of experts including not only doctors but also engineers and pharmaceutical manufacturers. In this series, I will tell you the background that I became involved in the development of medical devices.

It was in 2012 that Tottori University started such efforts of industry-university collaboration. The "Next-generation Advanced Medical Promotion Center" that was established by the head of the hospital at that time by demonstrating leadership was the catalyst. In this center, in addition to departments promoting state-of-the-art medicine such as "Regenerative medicine department" and "Genome medical department", 5 division systems including "Medical equipment division" which I was the division chief was laid. After that, our hospital has reorganized the "Next Generation Advanced Medical Promotion Center" in a developmental manner, and a new medical research promotion center was established.

Consistently stated since its establishment, providing new value. Although the hospital is a place to provide high-quality medical care, it is also a creative place where local residents and companies gather and create new innovation. I also have worked on the development of medical devices with various research themes with local small and medium enterprises. In cooperation with people from other industries, I am stimulated because I can have ideas that absolutely can not come up with just doctors alone.

In 2007, we made an endoscope together with faculty and staff of Tottori University's Faculty of Engineering (Medical Industry Collaboration). Originally I was interested in inventions, I made homemade endoscopes with corrugated paper, origami, etc., but it did not work out very well. However, with the help of faculty and engineering colleagues, we cooperatively created what we imagined, soon. This was an event that I felt the value hidden in cooperation to a great extent. After that, in collaboration with the company, we developed an endoscope, the size which was 30 cm at the beginning was reduced to 4 to 5 cm, and finally to 1 cm. I felt that "It is possible to develop medical devices that really help patients," according to industry-university collaboration, I was very excited.

Medical equipment develops healthcare worldwide and rescues patients

My specialty is internal gastroenterology, but I was aiming at orthopedic surgeon as a medical student. However, as I saw the reality that postoperative recovery in "Artificial head replacement surgery" is less advanced than a veteran doctor, the operation that the robot had done earlier, I began to like gastroenterology. I thought that whether gastroenterology department internal medicine that has room for improvement in medical equipment is more interesting than providing medical care in the area where robots already surpass others.

Indeed, as for endoscopes, a patient still receives tests with tears floating. Even though medical care is developing, it is funny that this situation has been neglected. However, do not worry about the innovative endoscope coming out from the medical device manufacturers as we wait. In the course of examining more than 1,000 patients in a year, a deep feeling came up. Colorectal cancer is one of the significant causes of death in both males and females, but since the examination is too painful, we have been present at the scene where the consultation is delayed, and precious lives are lost. When I was thinking "Is it okay" with other strengthsto wish "as it is?" "I want to make it easier to take inspections even if it takes a lifetime" has come to my eyes.

The colonoscopy has legs for collecting body tissues, but when I improved the leg from 3 to 5, I saw a case where the healing time was shortened at the time of the internship. And now, five-legged colonoscopies are commonplace. The accumulated medical experience is output as a medical device, and common sense of medical care is repainted every day. If you can contribute to the development of healthcare throughout the world through medical devices, there is nothing so happy. In the age of residents, I wrote the idea of medical equipment on the notebook and repeated trial and error.

Next time I will tell you about the current state of the medical device market and the thought to be put on making products from the medical scene.

< series 1 / complete >


Masaru Ueki
Tottori University Medical School Attached Hospital New Medical Research Promotion Center Professor, Research Practicalization Support Division Medical Doctor
Japan Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Society Specialist / Instructor
Japanese Science Certified Doctor
Japan Liver Society Specialist
Japan Gastroenterology Society Specialist

Born in Tottori prefecture in 1972. Graduated from Department of Medicine, Oita Medical University School of Medicine in 1998, and Graduate School of Tottori University in 2005. Tottori University Medical School Affiliated Hospital Post Graduate Clinical Training Center Lecturer in 2009, Tottori University Medical School Hospital Postgraduate Clinical Training Center Mitsuyoshi Associate Professor in 2012, Tottori University Medical School Hospital Next Generation Advanced Medical Promotion Center Associate Professor in 2012, Tottori University Medical School Hospital Next Generation Advanced Medical Promotion Center Professor, to the present.

◇Main book
"Tips and traps of medical treatment for liver diseases" (Nakayama Bookstore / Ken Ueki) published in January 2015

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