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May 2, 2024

The Medal with Purple Ribbon Awarded in the Spring of 2024 Medals of Honor

Canon Medical Systems Corporation (Headquarters: Otawara-shi, Tochigi, Japan; President and CEO: Toshio Takiguchi) is pleased to announce that Tetsuya Kawagishi, who is a Canon Medical corporate executive, was awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon in the spring of 2024. The Medal with Purple Ribbon is a national award presented to individuals who have made outstanding achievements in academic research, art, culture, and other areas.

Mr. Kawagishi received the Medal with Purple Ribbon for his involvement in developing novel diagnostic ultrasound technology employing differential harmonics and second harmonics to enable high-resolution imaging of tissues located deep within the body which cannot be visualized using conventional ultrasound technology.

Summary of achievements
Diagnostic ultrasound systems acquire images of structures inside the body by transmitting ultrasound signals and receiving echo signals from the tissues. Technology had previously been developed to acquire images with reduced artifacts by detecting the second harmonics generated by nonlinear effects. However, since these second harmonics are high-frequency signals restricted to a narrow frequency band, the sensitivity of this method was rather poor, resulting in low image resolution and limiting examinations to areas near the body surface.

To overcome this problem, Mr. Kawagishi developed a diagnostic ultrasound system that simultaneously transmits two types of ultrasound waves with different frequencies and creates a composite wave of the second harmonic and the differential harmonic (as well as the second harmonic) generated by the nonlinear effects in the received waveforms. This composite waveform consists solely of the reflected wave components due to nonlinear effects and has an expanded bandwidth ranging from low to high frequencies. As a result, high-resolution images with good sensitivity can be acquired in both superficial and deep regions while retaining the advantages of conventional diagnostic ultrasound technology, such as fewer image artifacts.

This development has contributed to the introduction of a new diagnostic ultrasound imaging method for examining regions and structures that are difficult to visualize using conventional ultrasound technology, such as the gastrointestinal tract, skin, joints, muscles, tendons, and bones. In addition, this new method allows the earlier detection of lesions in regions where conventional diagnostic methods are already available, such as the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, breast, thyroid, prostate, uterus, ovary, etc., so treatment can be started as quickly as possible. This novel technology has been incorporated into our lineup of diagnostic ultrasound systems as a new function called D-THI (Differential Tissue Harmonic Imaging) and is now available for clinical use in all parts of the world.


Award winner
Tetsuya Kawagishi
President and CEO of Canon Medical Systems Europe B.V.

Notable awards
2012 Kanto Regional Commendation for Invention
Encouragement Prize of the Chairman of the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation

2018 National Commendation for Invention
Award of the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

2023 The Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Awards for Science and Technology

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