Jim Taylor tapped by Topcon to drive strategic eye care initiatives

October 12, 2016

Topcon Corporation, (Headquarters: Itabashi, Tokyo Japan; President and CEO: Satoshi Hirano) and its subsidiary company, ifa Systems AG, announced today that Jim Taylor will drive planning and implementation of key eye care strategies, including big data management in healthcare such as the recently announced “Watson Health” initiative.

Mr. Taylor brings more than 30 years of management, technical experience, and leadership in the medical device industry. He previously served as President and CEO of Oraya Therapeutics Inc., and President and CEO at sector-leading companies including Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc., (CZMI), Coherent Medical, and Ohmeda Medical Systems. At Coherent and subsequently at CZMI, he led the introduction of several landmark technologies in eye care, including Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) imaging systems for AMD treatment and diagnosis, as well as an array of other technologies for glaucoma, refractive, and cataract applications. During his tenure at CZMI, the company grew to become one of the most-well recognized and respected leaders in the ophthalmic industry. Subsequently, during his leadership of Oraya Therapeutics, he lead the commercialization of an innovative first-in-kind radiotherapy device for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

President of Topcon Corporation, Satoshi Hirano stated “We feel very fortunate to have been able to attract Jim Taylor to assist us in our efforts to plan and implement the strategies that will emerge from this IBM Watson opportunity. Jim’s experience and reputation as a senior leader of industry leading companies are well known, and he has a strong global network of industry and clinical relationships that will be of great benefit in this mission.”

In commenting on the Watson Initiative, Mr. Hirano continued “We are extremely honored and pleased to have been selected by the IBM Watson team as a member of the Watson Health Imaging Collaborative representing eye care together with ifa System and inoveon (ifa subsidiary). Topcon and ifa Systems have a long-standing and productive relationship, and share commitment to providing innovations and products that offer great value and open doors for future improvements in physician and system efficiencies that will result in improved patient outcomes. This Watson Health initiative will enable us to more fully leverage our focus on cost-effective products and services; validates our commitment to open, effective and flexible data management solutions; and strengthens our resolve to keep the needs of clinicians and their patients at the forefront of our priorities.”

In commenting on his decision work with the Topcon and ifa Systems teams, Mr. Taylor said “Over the coming decades, global demographics and economics dictate that we must find new and enabling products and technologies, while we also re-imagine and redefine patient care models and pathways. There will simply not be adequate financial or clinical resources in any of the major global markets to allow us to use the currently entrenched approaches to delivery of care and to the evaluation of acceptable and affordable outcomes.” He went on to say that “I am excited to explore the potentials and practical applications of information technologies, data analytics and open and transparent outcomes measures; and even more motivated to work with Topcon and ifa Systems project teams to identify and attract the talented people and leadership that will be critical to the planning and implementation of the strategies and actions that will turn these visions into realities.”

About ifa systems AG
The ifa group is the leading provider for Health IT in eye care worldwide. Every day more than 14,500 users manage over 200,000 patient visits with ifa’s EMR (Electronic Medical Records) and diagnostic imaging with ifa’s VNA (Vendor Neutral Archives). Topcon acquired 50.1% of the ifa stocks in November 2015 and the companies started to jointly market high tech solutions for digital data management in eye care (brand name: IMAGEnet Connect) in combination with their innovative medical device portfolio for ophthalmology and optometry.