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May 17, 2018

Canon Medical Systems Corporation Honored at 2018 Ceremony of National Commendation for Invention

May 17, 2018 -Canon Medical Systems Corporation (Otawara, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan) at the 2018 Ceremony of National Commendation for Invention, hosted by Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation, received the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award and the Invention Achievement Award. These awards were given in recognition of Canon Medical’s proprietary technology of Differential Tissue Harmonic Imaging (D-THI). This function is based on "utilizing differential harmonics from two fundamental frequency components and their second harmonic in diagnostic ultrasound apparatus" (Japan Patent Office, No. 4557573).

Diagnostic ultrasound systems are used to visualize images in real time by applying a transducer to the body surface, emitting ultrasound signals, and receiving the echoes returning from tissues. Since ultrasound is relatively noninvasive, it is used in a broad range of clinical applications such as the examination of abdominal and superficial organs and examination of the cardiovascular system including the blood vessels. Furthermore, it is widely used in disciplines such as obstetrics & gynecology, and orthopedics. As advances in ultrasound continue, further clinical applications are anticipated.

This technology dramatically improves upon the basic performance of diagnostic ultrasound using a technique which enables tissues in deeper regions to be visualized in high-resolution. This not only allows early detection of lesions, but also by enabling high-resolution visualization of muscles, tendons, and the digestive tract (including the stomach and intestines) facilitates the physician to make diagnostic decisions with greater confidence. With our corporate philosophy “Made for life” at the heart of everything we do, Canon Medical will continue to advance technologies that enhance clinical practice, improve patient outcomes and contribute to human life.

1. Awards and Award Winners

Award of the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and TechnologyTetsuya Kawagishi, Ultrasound Systems Division, Canon Medical Systems Corporation
Tomohisa Imamura, Ultrasound Systems Division, Canon Medical Systems Corporation
Naohisa Kamiyama, Ultrasound Systems Division, Canon Medical Systems Corporation
Invention achievement awardToshio Takiguchi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canon Medical Systems Corporation

2. Differential Tissue Harmonic Imaging Technology

Background:The digestive tract, muscles, and tendons are conventionally examined by palpation, however there was a need for a more objective diagnosis. In conventional diagnostic ultrasound systems, body tissues are visualized as ultrasound propagates through the body and second harmonics generated by these tissues are detected. However, since second harmonics are high-frequency and the frequency bands are narrow, tissues in deep regions (further from the body surface) were difficult to visualize, and the resolution of such images was low.

New technology:A fundamental pulse is transmitted with different frequency components. The differential harmonic generated by tissues when the fundamental pulse propagates through the body effectively interferes with the second harmonic by controlling the phases of transmitted fundamental pulses (Figure 1). As a result of this interference, the ultrasound frequency band for imaging has a lower frequency component compared to conventional second harmonic imaging, allowing tissues in deep regions to be visualized and improving image resolution (Figure 2).

Figure 1 The principle of the technology

Figure 2 Ultrasound images acquired using conventional technology (prior art) and D-THI (invention)

3. National Commendation for Invention
The National Commendation for Invention was established in 1919 (under the name "Imperial Commendation for Invention"). The purpose of this award is to encourage and promote invention in order to improve scientific technology and boost developing industries in Japan. The award honors individuals for outstanding invention, promotion of product realization, or contributing to invention through instruction, encouragement, or training.


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