As a medical device manufacturer
Developing and manufacturing excellent in-house products the medical field really needs
Developing in-house products that reflect the needs of the medical professionals
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
In response to the diverse needs of the clinical practice in Japan, Japan Lifeline established The Research Center as a R&D base in 1999 and started developing medical devices. In 2000, we opened Ukima Factory and launched guide wires as our first in-house products in 2001. Stepping up its pace as a manufacturer, the company has since enhanced its manufacturing capabilities and expanded its in-house product portfolio including the EP and ablation catheters.
In 2012, Japan Lifeline brought its first one-of-a-kind in-house product, the Internal Atrial Cardioversion System, to the market. This system was first developed to meet the potential needs of the clinical practice in the field, and the system has become highly valued and are now widely used throughout Japan. Our subsidiary, JUNKEN MEDICAL, has also developed the Open Stent Graft, the first product of its kind in Japan, which was brought to the market in July, 2014.
As a Japanese company, our advantage is that we maintain close ties with the medical community that can be directly utilized for product development and that we can harness for the development of our own innovative products.
Pursuit of high level of quality for medical devices
HIGH QUALITY PRODUCTS
Our factories set a rigorous quality control standard for our medical devices to avoid any defects. Because manufacturing of our catheter products requires complex and delicate processes, we have highly experienced and competent staff with skills to do fine, detailed work that lead to the highest quality.
As part of our effort to ensure a stable supply of our ever expanding product portfolio in the medium and long term, Oyama Factory in Tochigi prefecture began its full time operations in October, 2014. The Oyama Factory is responsible for the final processes such as inspection, packaging and sterilization of products manufactured at subcontracting factories both in Japan and overseas. The Oyama Factory enabled us to establish a framework that can deal with increased manufacturing volume in the future while maintaining our high quality standards.
Moveing one step ahead in the development of production systems as a group
Our subsidiary, JUNKEN MEDICAL, develops and manufactures vascular grafts and Open Stent Grafts that Japan Lifeline is marketing, and they have the highest performance and quality as the only products manufactured in Japan.
Furthermore, we launched a self-developed balloon catheter in April, 2014, which we manufacture by transferring the technology to our subsidiary, SynexMed (Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China).
With our Medical Technology Park as our core R&D and manufacturing hub, which also has the Toda Factory as the manufacturing function, we will enhance coordination with our subsidiaries and maximize the synergy as a group to improve and expand our self-manufactured product portfolio.
Medical Technology Park （Toda-shi, Saitama）
Began operation in January, 2012
Products: Electrophysiology catheters, ablation catheters, guide wires, etc
Oyama Factory （Oyama-shi, Tochigi）
Began operation in October, 2014
Products: Electrophysiology catheters, ablation catheters, etc.
JUNKEN MEDICAL Ichihara Factory （Ichihara-shi, Chiba）
Began operation in January, 2011
Products: Vascular grafts, Open Stent Grafts, etc.
SynexMed Shenzhen Factory （Shenzhen, Guangdong, China）
*The photo shows the appearance of the office building
Became a subsidiary in October, 2010
Products: Guide wires, balloon catheters, etc.
Our history as a medical device manufacturer began in 1999. Currently, over half of our transaction volume comes from in-house products. Our primary development and manufacturing bases are Medical Technology Park (Toda, Saitama), which deals with products such as EP/ablation catheters for arrhythmia treatment and guide wire and balloon catheter for treatment of myocardial infarction and angina, and our subsidiary JUN-KEN MEDICAL Ichihara Factory (Ichihara, Chiba), which deals with vascular prostheses, etc..
One of our advantages is our nationwide connection with medical institutions, which has been built through the sales network cultivated in our business as a trading company in the cardiovascular area. Thanks to this close connection, we are able to receive honest feedback on our in-house products from medical professionals, and if improvement is needed, we can respond immediately. Feedback we receive includes, "we want this catheter more curved", "we want the stiffness of the shaft to be changed" and so on. Although all of such feedback cannot always be incorporated into product improvement, we can respond quickly and attentively to the voices from the medical field as much as possible. It is one of our strong points in the medical device industry where most players are manufacturers from overseas that our company has development and manufacturing bases in Japan as well as the nationwide sales network.
Furthermore, we receive not only feedback on delivered products but also requests from doctors for development of new products. Catheter for children is one of such examples. Catheters with small diameter are suitable for small body of children; however, catheters dedicated to children did not exist in the market in the past. While there are not many cases of juvenile arrhythmia, we heard the needs of such catheters for children from doctors, and as a part of social contribution, we took the opportunity and created a model dedicated to children.
When manufacturing medical devices, we place ultimate priority on the safety of patients as a matter of course. And this is why I always tell all employees who are involved in the development and manufacturing processes, "Let's make safe products that you would confidently allow a doctor to insert into the body of your family member".
As a duty of a medical device manufacturer, we will continuously deliver medical devices that are safe and optimal for patients.
I am in charge of product development in the Research Center Department. I place priority on "uniqueness" of ideas and technologies. In particular, in the field of EP/ablation catheters for arrhythmia treatment, JLL may be the only domestic manufacturer, therefore, we are consciously working on product development in a distinctive way as a Japanese company, rather than imitating foreign products.
As with the story of the TV drama, "Downtown Rocket", when you look into technologies Japanese small and medium-sized companies have, you will find amazing things. When a good technology starts to grow through close communication with partner companies, we initiate joint development toward our goal. It's easier said than done; however, we hope to develop products loaded with our unique technologies.
Catheters consist of various components including ones that require complex formation. There are long-standing ideas that have not been put into production due to technical limitations. Our goal is to turn such ideas into a commercial reality by using Japanese craftspersonship, and that is what we call the Japanese Quality. Our products are manufactured using such excellent, unique technology of companies all over Japan.
When manufacturing catheters, we place the most importance on "operability". The goal of our products is to serve as an "extension of doctor's hand." Hands of Japanese doctors are small and delicate compared to foreign doctors. Therefore, we make catheters that fit well in their hands and react directly to their fine strokes of catheter manoeuvre. Yet too direct of a reaction is not good either, and there needs to be something like the excess play in a steering wheel. The accuracy is greatly dependent on elaboration of grip and shaft, and I believe this is the field where we can take advantage of the unique Japanese sensibilities, which are distinct from foreign products.
Under our patients-first policy, we, as a domestic manufacturer, would like to continuously supply good products to the medical field with confidence and in collaboration with small and medium-sized companies supporting the Japanese Quality.