NEC creates new digital healthcare division, targeting $4.5bn revenues by 2030
Japanese tech giant NEC has announced a new digital healthcare and life science business, as part of its stated mid-term strategy to develop new business units to drive growth for the company in the period to 2025. It wants to grow company revenues by 500 billion yen ($4.5 billion) in 2030 via the new operation, which will leverage the company’s interests in artificial intelligence and other digital technologies, it said.
Specifically, NEC will look at bringing digital tech to bear on three areas of healthcare: medical care, lifestyle support, and life science. NEC has been engaged variously at the fringes of healthcare for 50 years, it said, through provision of systems for medical records and medical bills (“reception system”), and also, since 2019, through drug research (“drug discovery”). The new initiative is focused on delivering broader social value, it said.
It cited home-grown biometrics and face recognition technologies, and video analytics and graph-based “relationship learning” tech, among its new digital armoury to go after new business in the healthcare sector. Its focus areas are geared towards digital support for medical care (medical care), around medical-grade devices and remote care, and digital support for healthy living (lifestyle support), around consumer-grade monitoring devices and wearables.
The new life sciences angle “supports medical care with technology”, it said; in a press statement, the company made no mention of bio-technology or drug research. It said: “NEC will promote R&D with an eye toward 2030 and the needs of hospitals, nursing care, rehabilitation, and other situations…. Furthermore, NEC will create new value in the healthcare and life sciences fields through co-creation with a wide range of external partners.”