FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) is pleased to announce that its “Rapid Tuberculosis Diagnostic Kit” has won the Good Design Grand Award in the Good Design Award 2019*, organized by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion. The Grand Award is extended to a product with the most outstanding design that represents this year's design and social trends, chosen out of 1,435 winners of the Good Design Award 2019. This is the first time Fujifilm has won the Good Design Grand Award.
Also, four of its products, including binoculars “FUJINON TECHNO-STABI TS-X 1440” and ultrasound equipment “iViz air”, have won the Good Design Gold Award. The Gold Award is extended to 19 designs in recognition of their comprehensive excellence in addressing social issues, offering suggestions for the future and achieving a high degree of perfection.
The Grand Award winner, Rapid Tuberculosis Diagnostic Kit for developing countries, is a diagnostic kit that uses urine as samples, designed for HIV-positive patients who have a compromised immune system and are therefore at high risk of contracting tuberculosis (TB) and developing severe symptoms. TB is one of the world's 3 major infectious diseases** killing some 1.5 million people*** each year. Of all TB patients, 86% are living in developing countries in Africa and Southeast Asia***. TB infections have a serious impact on the societies and economic activities of these countries due to its powerful transmission capability and high medical cost burden imposed on patients.
The most widely-used method for diagnosing TB is to analyze patients' sputum specimens. However, there is a need for a new non-sputum based diagnostic tool, particularly for HIV-positive patients with high risk of TB infection, small children and seniors from whom the collection of sputum specimens can be difficult, and cases of extra-pulmonary TB, in which TB develops in areas other than the lungs. Using easily accessible urine as samples, this kit applies silver halide amplification technology Fujifilm has nurtured in the field of photographic development. The kit detects diseases by generating large silver particle around markers which is a bond of component specific to Mycobacterium TB bacteria, found in a minute quantity in a specimen. The kit has received the Grand Award in recognition for its easy-operation design, specifications that do not require a power source or instruments, thus meeting the needs of developing countries with unstable power supply infrastructures, and Fujifilm's attitude to deal with social issues in such countries.
This kit achieved EU/IVDD*4, one of the examination standards recognized by the WHO, in December 2018. In order to supply this kit to developing countries, it is currently undergoing clinical assessment at relevant countries' research institutes to obtain recommendation from WHO. There is no plan to release the kit for the Japanese market.
In developing a wide range of products and services, Fujifilm has pursued a high level of functionality and performance, while working on designing to bring out the full potential of excellent functionality. The company strives to create new product value by pursuing not only exterior design aesthetics, but also exploring designs that facilitate concept, ease of use and operability.
Amidst its pursuit for design excellence as a key product value, Fujifilm has managed to win the Good Design Gold Award. Encouraged by this achievement, the company will continue to work on developing outstanding products.
*The Good Design Award is Japan's only comprehensive design evaluation and promotion program launched by the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (today's Japan Institute of Design Promotion) in 1988, based on the Good Design Product Selection System (commonly known as the G Mark System) established by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (today's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) in 1957. For more than 60 years, the program has strived to promote product designs that contribute to industrial development and enhancement in the quality of life.
**TB, AIDS and malaria
***Global tuberculosis report 2019. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2019. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO
*4EU's Directive on in vitro diagnostic medical devices 98/79/EC (IVDD)