Yohei Watanabe, Head of Marketing for Asia Pacific, Elekta
During their discussion with Prisila, a correspondent from Asia Business Outlook Magazine, Marco Lee and Yohei Watanabe provided insights into the current state of the Asia Pacific & Japan market and highlighted the essential factors for successfully introducing new technology into this market.
Yohei Watanabe, is a senior marketing executive with 15 years of experience in the global and regional radiology and radiation oncology sectors, he combines a keen understanding of technology with a genuine passion for enhancing capabilities to provide superior patient care.
Marco Lee is a Visionary commercial & general management executive with 20 years of regional experience in Healthcare Industry particularly medical device, both in direct and indirect markets. A forward-thinking leader with strong business acumen and track record of delivering tangible results in top and bottom line.
Tell us about the role of radiation therapy. How is the market situation looking like in Asia Pacific & Japan market?
Radiation therapy is an essential treatment option for many types of cancer, such as lung, breast, cervical and prostate cancer. Nevertheless, a serious challenge in emerging countries is how to deliver this treatment sustainably where access to quality cancer care is often limited.
Therefore, market requires making radiation therapy more accessible to people in underserved communities.
A country that is growing accessibility and sustainability is Thailand. Thailand has a strategic initiative as government’s plan to shorten radiation therapy waiting times by half and increase access to the provincial areas, through an increase in the number of devices and advanced services with latest innovations such as MR Linac, Magnetic Resonance Linear accelerator (MR-LINAC) for better treatment outcome which enable elevation of care.
"Leveraging the expertise and fostering collaborations, we also aim to bolster capabilities and improve access to cancer treatment, ultimately benefiting patients across the country."
How many countries are currently using MR-Linac and how do you see its scalability in the Asia Pacific & Japan market in the future?
MR Linac is making significant strides globally, with numerous countries embracing its potential. The recent installations in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Thailand and Taiwan, highlights the growing interest and positive reception from healthcare providers worldwide. Currently, there are total of 75 units installed/under-going installation in 27 countries and 53 are already in clinical use in 22 countries. For Asia Pacific & Japan, there are 13 units running clinically.
Why will MR Linac play an important role in RT market ? MR Linac allows you to see more from Radiation Therapy then you could ever see before. With unparalleled visualization and precision such as :
1) Diagnostic quality MRI during every treatment that potentially improve the treatment outcome.
2) Treat moving targets and spare healthy tissue with certainty and confidence
3) And have the freedom to choose from multiple motion management techniques, best suited to the patient
Asia Pacific & Japan is one of the largest populations in regions, correlating to rising cancer incidence rates.
I see. What do you think the key for success for those new technology into the market?
Peer-to-Peer exchange is certainly enabling healthcare providers and decision-makers, to support the growth of cancer care infrastructure in the market. Leveraging the expertise and fostering collaborations, we also aim to bolster capabilities and improve access to cancer treatment, ultimately benefiting patients across the country.
What’s the future outlook for Asia Pacific & Japan market?
Asia Pacific & Japan is one of the largest populations in regions, correlating to rising cancer incidence rates. With large population and increasing incidence of cancer, we aim to deepen our presence. With the different culture and different market, like the country which has less than 1 radiotherapy unit per million population like Indonesia or the country which has more than 10 units per million population like Japan.
Marco Lee, Senior Vice President for Asia Pacific, Elekta
As part of our commitment to the market, we have plans to expand the presence of radiation therapy systems across the countries. Our goal is to ensure that everyone has access to the best cancer care. We believe that by increasing the availability of radiation therapy systems, we can positively impact cancer care outcomes and reach a larger population in need.
To achieve this, we are actively working on partnerships and collaborations with healthcare institutions, government bodies, and industry stakeholders by leveraging the diversity of the countries as Asia Pacific Japan region.
Together with government, NGOs, IAEA and other partners, We live with our mission on continuously partnering with our RT professionals to build hope for everyone dealing with cancer together. In this way, accentuating our Vision of A world where everyone has access to the best cancer care.