Toshiba sees the future in screen-based medical devices

Toshiba President Hisao Tanaka

More than 55 years after pioneering the world's first color television set, Toshiba aims to become a healthcare company making medical devices. In that new realm, Toshiba still expects to be dealing with images on a machine.

President Hisao Tanaka said in a wide-ranging interview with Yomiuri Shimbun the Japan-based company would rely on the image-processing technology it developed for television and adapted for medical monitors. It also would be seeking mergers and acquisitions, and partnerships, he said.

As part of the industry switch, Tanaka said Toshiba was ending television production, licensing that part of its business to other companies and moving its TV engineers to work on healthcare devices. He also plans cutbacks in the computer and home appliance portions of its business and moving their managers to healthcare.

Tanaka also said Toshiba already has deeper relationships with medical institutions such as hospitals than most of its competitors already in the medical-device field, and the company understands the global regulatory process.

Amid all the turmoil of change, Tanaka sees Toshiba emerging by the end of fiscal year 2017 as a company in the imaging-diagnosis equipment business with sales of $8.4 billion, more than twice what it has now. For that, he emphasized Toshiba's CT and MRI scanners it already markets in more than 130 countries.

Tanaka said Toshiba was the fourth-largest global marketer of imaging diagnostics.

For all these changes, Yomiuri Shimbun said Toshiba could be expected to open new markets with innovative products or services.

- here's the story from Yomiuri Shimbun