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Jun 17, 2019 02:00 am ·

China's One Assertive Overseas Explorer in Medtech: United Imaging

United Imaging (联影医疗) announced clinical installations of its PET/CT systems to a hospital in Texas on 11June 2019, marking one of the most successful overseas expansions by a Chinese Medtech company.   The United States represents the most mature and sizable market for medical imaging by a considerable margin. It is also strategic to conquer since its FDA licenses could be used as a passport in dealing with several other countries' healthcare regulators. On the other hand, the company's administrative team's organic relationships with the Chinese regulators and government, which is not a secret amongst the public, secure the companys regulatory position within the Mainland.   United Imaging has an already fortified and mature presence in China, and the United States, successfully penetrating two major markets. As a Chinese Medtech company, having a presence in the United States is a significant distinction.  However, massive challenges still stand ahead of the company. The biggest challenge is, beyond doubt, fierce market conditions. United Imaging has to compete with the giant, technically equipped and wealthy companies, including, among others, Siemens, GE, Philips, and Canon. PET/CT systems are the very core and strategic components of the Healthcare industry due to the irrepealable diagnosis facilitative solutions they provide. What's more, a gigantic AI-driven diagnosis field is built upon the medical imaging equipment industry, making MI device producers core of the industry. One advantageous characteristic of the company is that it devotes its energy in PET scanners, which is deemed to be the most sophisticated and advanced types of medical imaging product. In this respect, the company creates expertise on the most value-added product of the industry, in a move to compete with the giants.  So far, the company has raised around USD 480 million from five investors in its Series A, led by SDIC Fund in September 2017.  Within the medical imaging industry, the quantity of collaborative hospitals and institutions stands as one of the most important positive indicators of the companies in the industry. Hence while United Imaging scoring in that, it had strengthened and proved its well-grounded overseas expansion as well. 

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Apr 14, 2019 06:09 pm ·

United Imaging to Set Up a CNY 5 billion R&D Facility in Wuhan

The chairman of United Imaging (联影医疗), Xue Min (薛敏) has announced during the 2019 World Health Expo that his company will set up a CNY 5 billion worth R&D center in Wuhan. The facility is expected to be  200,000 square meters and the biggest one in the industry.  The company has already been producing and developing several kinds of diagnostic products, radiotherapy products and healthcare IT solutions. With the establishment, the R&D base will help United Imaging further fortify its already strong position in the med-tech industry. By doing so, United Imaging is preparing to target the Chinese market that is already greater than a trillion yuan. However, several global companies are targeting the China market with billions of sales revenue, such as Medtronic and Philips Group. The competition further escalates concerning the R&D investments as well; the world’s most prominent medical technology provider, Medtronic, has spent around CNY 15 billion on research and development as of 2018. According to the Chairman; the R&D facility will create additional financial value in several other industries by creating a high-tech industrial chain in Wuhan. The company already produces several high-value-added diagnostics, such as MI, MR, CT and DR machines. What’s more, United Imaging recently introduced its medical cloud product, uCloud, to create a national diagnosis and treatment system in China. At present, the uCloud connects more than 1700 medical institutions in 19 cities across the country, covering more than 100 million people. Medical cloud is particularly beneficial for the regions that have significant development level differences to exchange medical data within these different regions. China is seen especially suitable for the utilization of Medical Cloud. Diagnostics Imaging is the third biggest area in device sales in med-tech after In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) and Cardiology products. Last year, Diagnostic Imaging products’ global market share within the entire sector was around 10% with USD 40 billion worth of sales. In general, United Imaging has a strong market capacity with several global competitors.  So far, United Imaging has already secured more than CNY 3.3 billion total funding in Series A from major Chinese Investment Banks, such as CICC and CITIC Securities. The company has three offices in the USA and currently in a fast-paced growing period. However, it will be reasonably arduous for United Imaging to dominate in the global market.  Several companies from Japan and the United States are already dominating the sector with their cumulative technical and financial capacity. It is reasonable for the company to invest heavily in R&D to catch up with its global competitors. Wuhan investment can be read from this perspective. 

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Apr 4, 2019 10:30 am ·

ITM Cooperates with United Imaging to Explore The Global Market

On April 2, 2019, Isotopen Technologien München AG (ITM) and United Imaging published an announcement that they signed a strategic cooperation agreement. In the future, ITM and United Imaging will cooperate with each other in marketing, sales, imaging, and related productions, in order to bring innovation productions and high-quality services to customers in China and global market. ITM is a Germany enterprise which is made up of a series of professional radioactive drug Companies. IMT is specialized in the development and production of brand-new radioisotopes, radiopharmaceuticals, and equipment. United Imaging is a medical technology enterprise which focuses on providing high-performance medical images, radiotherapy products, and medical Informatization and Intelligence solutions to global customers. Founded in March 2011, United Imaging aims to be the world-class leader of medical innovation. United Imaging offers high-end medical imaging diagnostic products including molecular imaging (MI), magnetic resonance (MR), CT and X-Ray productions. In addition, United Imaging also provides precise radiotherapy products developed by itself, and the comprehensive radiotherapy solutions led by high-defined images. United Imaging also offers Internet + medical solutions. Combining with the Internet, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and big data analysis, United Imaging aims to achieve the cloud sharing of good medical resources, massive in-depth applications of diagnostic and treatment-level data and provide medical information and intelligent solutions. The production lines of the two companies could achieve complementation, and they all have abundant experiences in accurate imaging of tumors and the joint target market. According to the agreement, IMT would provide the medicine schemes that matched with the PEC-CT facilities which from United Imaging Chinese market. In addition, both two companies will work together to explore the global market, including offering the on-site support team, guaranteeing the supply of productions, providing related training to customers. Besides, both two companies would cooperate with each other on the innovation and bettering of the precise diagnosis imaging, which includes radiopharmaceuticals, image processing, digital imaging, patient workflow, patient management, and support, etc. According to Steffen Schuster, the CEO of ITM, they were excited to achieve strategic cooperation with United Imaging. Schuster said that “United Imaging has serval years experiences in diagnosing and radiotherapy, which makes it a qualified partner of ITM. When bringing the ITM’s business to China, the energetic and meaningful market, United Imaging would definitely help ITM to promote the supply of precise cancer radio-diagnostic imaging products. ZHANG Qiang (张强), the president of United Imaging, said that “The advantages of two companies help with each other. United Imaging has developed a lot of world-leading facilities in the imaging field, especially in molecular imaging, and have a lot of partners all over the world. In addition, ITM has settled more than 250 stations in 46 countries. This cooperation could combine our advantages and help the two companies work together to explore the global cancer imaging market and serve more people in the world.” With the cooperation, ITM could enlarge its business into China market, while United Imaging can also improve its global influence with the ITM's productions. The cooperation is definitely a win-win example.   

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Feb 10, 2019 09:14 am ·

3 Ways That AI to Improve Healthcare in 2019

“No enterprises in the future is able to declare that it is not connected with artificial intelligence,” said LI Yanhong (李彦宏), founder and CEO of search engine giant Baidu, in the 2018 World Artificial Intelligence Conference. It’s true that artificial intelligence has been applied to almost all of the sectors, from automobile to education, and also healthcare, which is deeply connected with every single person in this world. On or before the year of 2021, AI will save up to USD 52 billion for the healthcare worldwide, according to research by ABI Research. The research indicates that most industrial sectors have already brought AI into their plan of development, even though AI hasn’t been widely commercialized. For example, pharmaceutical companies continue to invest in AI for drug discovery, and some AI vendors target patients for pre-primary care. AI has yet to generate a molecule design for a drug that has gone to market, but some companies have made it into Phase I and Phase II trials with successful results so far.  The research says that hospitals in Israel and the United States have already started to adopt AI-based predictive analytics. The number of patient monitoring devices using the data to train AI models for predictive analytics will rise from 53,000 at the end of 2017 to 3.1 million in 2021 with a CAGR of 176%. In China, we can see that AI has been used by lots of startups to improve the healthcare industry. The typical AI healthcare startups include United Imaging Healthcare (联影医疗), Yucebio (裕策生物), and Medtrum (移宇科技), which focus on healthcare imaging and genetic technologies. But in the year of 2019, we may see something different to come. 1. Telehealth using artificial intelligence The so-called telehealth provides healthcare services to people who live in isolated places such as the rural area, which not only will reduce patients’ time costs, but also will decrease the admission rate of hospitals so that they can provide healthcare service to inpatients. Telehealth has been developed since the boom of Internet-based video call technology, but the traditional way requires human doctors to talk with patients. With the development of computer vision and image recognition, it’s possible for the remote healthcare service provider to preliminary screen patients’ symptoms by using these technologies. On the other hand, medical workers can use AI tools to take care of their inpatients whenever they are at the clinic or at home. Research by Market Research Future shows that the market volume of AI-based remote healthcare will boost at the growth rate of 16.5% from 2019 to 2023. San Francisco based startup Ginger.io has been providing healthcare services to all of the users around the United States. With a team of coaches, therapists, and psychiatrists, the company uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide services in partnership with 40 healthcare organizations across the country. 2. Suggestions provided by AI Recent research publishes at the European Respiratory Society International Congress 2019 shows that AI has the ability to help doctors to precisely identify the symptom of respiratory, and give the correct diagnostic suggestions. Dr Marko Topalovic (PhD), a postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratory for Respiratory Diseases, Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium, told the society that after training an AI computer algorithm using good quality data, it proved to be more consistent and accurate in interpreting respiratory test results and suggesting diagnoses than lung specialists, according to the congress’s website. In this study, the researchers used historical data from 1,430 patients from 33 Belgian hospitals. The data were assessed by an expert panel of pulmonologists and interpretations were measured against gold standard guidelines from the European Respiratory Society and the American Thoracic Society. 3. AI helps to connect medical data AI has the ability to analyze multiple data sources to give predictive analytics and provide personalized diagnostic suggestions and disease risk reports, which has helped medical workers a lot. For example, the California-base personal genomics and biotechnology company provides genetic testing and interpretation to individual consumers, which can be used to make suggestions of using target medicines. In October 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration permitted marketing, with special controls, of the 23andMe Personal Genome Service Pharmacogenetic Reports test as a direct-to-consumer test for providing information about genetic variants that may be associated with a patient’s ability to metabolize some medications to help inform discussions with a health care provider. The similar company in China is Geneplus, who raised CNY 50 million (about USD 7.4 million) in its latest funding round led by its previous investor Beijing Genomics Institute in January 2019.

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Jan 26, 2019 10:25 am ·

United Imaging Healthcare uEXPLORER Cleared by FDA

United Imaging Healthcare (UIH, 联影医疗) uEXPLORER total-body scanner has cleared by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) on the 22nd January and expected to launch in early 2019. uEXPLORER claims itself to be the world’s first medical imaging scanner that can capture a 3D picture of the whole human body at one bed position. uEXPLORER is a combined Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) scanner that can image the entire human body at the same time. uEXPLORER was developed by United Imaging in partnership with the EXPLORER Consortium led by Simon Cherry, Ph.D., and Ramsey Badawi, Ph.D., from the University of California, Davis. uEXPLORER debuted at the 77th China International Medical Equipment Fair (CMEF) held from May 15th to May 18th, 2017 in Shanghai. The developers expect the technology will have a wide range of applications, from improving diagnostics to tracking disease progression to researching new therapies. For example, uEXPLORER will be used to better visualize cancer that has spread beyond a single tumor site. Researchers also envision using the scanner to measure blood flow across the entire body and study inflammation, infections and immunological/metabolic disorders. It claims that higher-quality diagnostic PET scans could be provided by uEXPLORER. UIH described uEXPLORER as the first “Hubble Telescope” for observing the inside of the human body. UIH claims it has certain following features, such as Whole-body imaging in 15 seconds, a 40x increase in sensitivity and 1/40 drop in radiation and 4D real-time whole-body imaging of dynamic metabolic process. As in it takes less time to complete the full-body scan, significantly reduces radiation dose and be able to access the real-time distribution, effect and metabolism of drugs in the human body.      Jeffrey M. Bundy, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of UIH Solutions said "The human images the uEXPLORER produces have been nothing short of astonishing, especially when one considers the very short acquisition times. This device will bring us into completely new areas of discussion with our customers, as we jointly re-think the role of PET in the North American healthcare system. We are thrilled to be able to start sharing it widely in the US." UIH also developed PET/MR systems. EqualOcean mentioned previously that PET/MR system has been cleared by CFDA (China Food and Drug Administration) on Oct 28.

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Nov 21, 2018 11:23 pm ·

United Imaging Healthcare as well as China's first uPMR imaging system

According to the information released on the official website of MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China), China's first integrated positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging system (PET/MR), developed by Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare Co., Ltd. (联影医疗), was officially installed and started to use in Zhongshan Hospital of Fudan University on Oct 28, 2018. PET/MR is one of the world's most advanced medical imaging diagnostic equipment, with diagnostic features both of PET and MR. It has advantages over PET/CT in terms of soft tissue resolution and non-invasive examination, and it is currently the most advanced medical imaging technology of human functional metabolic imaging which could conduct functional metabolic imaging of human body at a cellular and molecular level. Its multi-modal, multi-parameter imaging can accurately diagnose neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease and complex diseases such as liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, epilepsy, and multiple myeloma, etc. PET & MR & PET/MR imaging This PET/MR imaging system from United Imaging Healthcare was named uPMR 790 (HD TOF PET/MR) and was firstly launched at the company's Inaugural United Innovation Summit (uInnovation) in Shanghai on April 11, 2018. It took around 6 months for the company to conduct clinical validation and then succeeded to get certification from CFDA (China Food and Drug Administration). Thus, United Imaging Healthcare filled the gap in this most cutting-edge field of medical equipment between China and the world class. Founded in March 2011, United Imaging Healthcare had successfully secured CNY 3.333 billion in series A financing, the post-money valuation reached CNY 33.333 billion. In this round of financing, China Life Healthcare Investment Fund and SDIC Fund Management Company Ltd. are co-lead investors together with other investors including China Venture Capital, CICC Zhide Capital, CITICS Investment, CDB Capital FOF, and CMBI&CT Fund. So far United Imaging Healthcare had also started its business in the USA, although the uPMR 790 system was so far not commercially available in the USA waiting for FDA’s permission, the company already had several other products available for sale in the USA. Furthermore, this company will make its global brand debut at the 104th RSNA Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, the official meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago, on 25-30th November 2018. - Author: ZHANG Fan; Write to ZHANG Fan at ZhangFan@EqualOcean.com