Since our founding in 1916, alongside its own research and development, ITO has sought out and adopted technologies from around the world to design numerous physiotherapy devices. Drawing on this legacy, we launched full-fledged international expansion efforts in the 1970s and opened offices in China and Vietnam during the 1990s. Since then, we've rapidly grown our businesses in Asian markets.
In 1996, we began exhibiting in MEDICA, in Dusseldorf, Germany, the world's largest medical device trade show. We've also exhibited in other leading trade shows around the world, including Arab Health in the UAE and CMEF in China.
Our more than 40 years of activities worldwide have helped build deep-rooted global trust in ITO. Today, we export our high-quality products to more than 100 countries.
The concept of evidence-based medicine (EBM) has drawn significant attention in the field of physiotherapy.
Focusing on the significance of EBM, at ITO, we, too, consider it essential to demonstrate the effectiveness of our products through scientific and clinical approaches. We constantly and proactively collect the latest information from academic associations around the world, including the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT). We pursue advanced joint research with research institutions and physiotherapists in Japan and around the world, incorporating the results into our products. Our products have also begun to draw attention in dental field, and research seeking to demonstrate the efficacy of ultrasound technology in dental therapy is advancing rapidly.
We established a general R&D section in 1983. We strive to develop devices that will contribute to society, reflecting societal and corporate needs identified by sales personnel. In recent years, for example, demand has grown for compact devices in the field of in-home care. We offer extensive and proprietary expertise in compact, sophisticated, and high-performance devices with advanced features, a natural result of our focus on device miniaturization over the years. Building on this track record, we're striving to develop even more advanced products.
We obtained ISO certification for the first time in 1998. Since then, we've gained certification under numerous rigorous international standards, including ISO 13485 (Medical devices - Quality management systems) and ISO 14001 (Environmental management system). We remain dedicated to pursuing new possibilities in physiotherapy by strengthening not just our technical capabilities, but the reliability of our products. In this way, we seek to continue delivering products that contribute to society.
In 2010, we adopted a one-person cellular production system under which each product is assembled, inspected, and packed by the same individual. Under this system, which is especially well-suited to producing a large variety of products in small lots, each worker handles all aspects of the production line, strengthening his or her sense of responsibility and improving skills dramatically. The system has also been highly successful in terms of work efficiency.
To implement even more thorough quality controls, the Reliability Control Center established at the Tsukuba Factory in 2004 is fully equipped with some of the industry's most advanced testing equipment, including intelligent load testing robots, thermal shock chambers, low temperature thermo-hygrostats, hydrophones, vibration testers, drop impact testers, bending testers, micro focus X-ray inspection systems, and photomicroscopy systems. Before, we had outsourced quality control; now, with these in-house facilities, we are capable of applying maximum loads to each part and implementing even more thorough testing. We carry out repeated and rigorous testing to maintain reliable quality for the physical therapy devices used not just in medical care, but in homes.
Stressing thorough traceability for each and every product, we maintain a structure that makes it possible to precisely ascertain information on every aspect of production, from the parts used to make a product through the assembly process and the shipping route. In the rare event of a product defect, this makes it possible to verify the causative factors from multiple angles. Since this approach can also be used to clearly ascertain information ranging from production records to the number of years for which each product has been in use, it allows swift response to any problems with products used for extended periods.
By delivering high-quality products at all times, we strive to earn the trust of our customers and to reward the high regard in which they hold us.
For some 20 years, ITO has pursued efforts to support treatment and conditioning for athletes through physiotherapy. Today, thanks to the conditioning support we provide in numerous international competitions and our track record with many professional sports franchises, including soccer and baseball teams, the ITO name is known throughout the Japanese sports world.
We've been designated an official sponsor or supplier for more than 20 athletic associations and teams, including the All Japan Judo Federation, the Japan Cycling Federation, the Japan Association of Athletics Federations, and the Japan Wheelchair Tennis Association.
Today, ITO's initiatives in support of athletic endeavor extend around the world. Brazil's Sao Paulo FC, Chonburi FC in the Thai Premier League, Balmazújvárosi FC in Hungary professional football clubs have formally adopted ITO's physiotherapy devices, which they use to optimize the health and conditioning of their athletes. Our palm-sized ultrasound devices in particular have earned a sterling reputation for enabling conditioning away from team training centers.
Our treatment devices are widely used not just by sports teams, but hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and other facilities around the world, supporting athletes seeking to recover quickly from injuries. As requested by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam, we donated our devices to support the athletes on that nation's national teams. We have also hosted seminars on treatment methods at the Vietnam Sports Hospital. In these ways, our treatment devices today play major roles on the sports scene worldwide.
|1916||Tokyo Medical Electric Co., Ltd. founded by Kenji Ito
Japan's first AC X-ray machine and other devices developed
|1924||“Radio and Experiments” monthly magazine, Japan's first specialist radio technology magazine,
first published (Now published by Seibundo Shinkosha publishing company)
|1934||Japan's first shortwave therapy unit, developed|
|1957||Company name changed to ITO Co., Ltd.
Wide range of electrotherapy equipment developed
|1983||R&D Center opened|
|1989||Osteotron, Japan's first bone-growth stimulator, launched
Tsukuba Factory opened
|1994||Shanghai Office opened in P.R.China|
|1998||Hanoi Office opened in Vietnam
Trio 300, world's first miniature multi-mode stimulator, launched
PM-800 Series, world's first inverter-controlled microwave therapy unit, launched
|1999||ISO 9001 certification acquired|
|2001||ISO 13485 certification acquired|
|2003||ES-420 and ES-160 win 2003 iF Design Award
ISO 14001 certification acquired
|2004||Reliability Control Center established|
|2005||EU-940 wins 2005 iF Design Award|
|2006||90th anniversary of founding celebrated
US-750 wins 2006 iF Design Award
|2010||US-101L / US-103S, a new style in portable ultrasound therapy systems, launched|
|2017||ITO Manufacturing Vietnam Co., Ltd. established in Hanoi, Vietnam.|
|2018||Head office relocated to Kawaguchi, Saitama, Japan.|
ITO's product development history is characterized by an eagerness to tackle the challenges of miniaturization, sophisticated features, and high performance. This spirit emerges from our founder's vision-to help people live healthier lives by broadening the range of therapy devices available for use at home.
Since successfully miniaturizing shortwave therapy devices about 80 years ago, ITO has continually striven to make our devices as compact as possible while retaining the features and performance of larger therapy devices. Products born from our unique expertise, including portable ultrasound therapy devices, portable interferential electrotherapy devices, and ultracompact hand-carried electrostimulator equipment, have been welcomed with wonder in markets around the world.
Grounded in this unique approach and offering advanced features, ITO's compact high-performance products are used today across a wide range of domains, from rehabilitation to athletic conditioning and therapy to in-home care.