rapid diagnostic kit for tuberculosis wins 2019 japan GOOD DESIGN grand award

rapid diagnostic kit for tuberculosis wins 2019 japan GOOD DESIGN grand award

FUJIFILM corporation’s ‘rapid tuberculosis diagnostic kit’ has won the grand award of the GOOD DESIGN award 2019, organized by the japan institute of design promotion. chosen out of 1,420 winners, the grand award is granted to a product with the most outstanding design.


the diagnostic kit — designed for those at a high risk of contracting tuberculosis (TB), including HIV-positive patients — uses urine as a sample to detect the infection. according to the global tuberculosis report 2019, TB — one of the world’s 3 major infectious diseases alongside AIDS and malaria — kills 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 and high medical costs imposed on patients.

image courtesy of FUJIFILM corporation



‘we highly praised the ambition, technology and design that has made it possible to easily diagnose TB in developing countries with a 70% sensitivity, which is equivalent to expensive diagnostic equipment,’ the GOOD DESIGN award 2019 jury evaluation states. ‘instead of using sputum samples which are challenging to produce for HIV positive patients whose 40% of death is claimed by TB, the diagnosis kit uses urine to detect low concentrations of a compound specifically produced by TB. the utilization of silver amplification technology, which is now considered nonessential, has reminded us the importance of discovering new things by taking lessons from the past.’

‘all you need to do is just to drop the specimen to the cartridge’
original image © GHIT Fund
photo by designboom from the designer’s presentation



currently, the most widely-used method for diagnosing TB is to analyze patients’ sputum specimens — a mixture of saliva and mucus. however, there is a need for a non-sputum based diagnostic tool, particularly for HIV-positive patients, small children and senior citizens.

‘the specimen is urine, which is easy for everyone to take’
original image © GHIT Fund
photo by designboom



fujifilm corporation’srapid tuberculosis diagnostic kit‘ addresses this need by using easily-accessible urine as samples. the kit applies silver halide amplification technology that fujifilm has nurtured in the field of photographic development, and detects diseases by generating a large silver particle around markers which is a bond of a component specific to mycobacterium TB bacteria, found in a minute quantity in a specimen.

‘after pushing the button’ (you can know if the patient is positive or negative)
original image © GHIT Fund
photo by designboom



the kit has received the grand award in recognition of its easy-operation design, and specifications that do not require a power source — meeting the needs of developing countries with unstable power supply infrastructures. in order to supply this kit to developing countries, the product is currently undergoing clinical assessment at relevant countries’ research institutes to obtain recommendation from the world health organization.

‘continuous input of the substance makes a controllable amplification reaction’
original image © GHIT Fund
photo by designboom

rapid diagnostic kit for tuberculosis exhibited at tokyo midtown hall
image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

final presentation
image © designboom

vice chair seiichi saito (left), the winner hirotoshi ono(center), chair fumie shibata (right)
image © designboom



project info:


award-winning item: diagnostic kit [rapid diagnostic kit for tuberculosis]
business owner: fujifilm corporation
category: 10-05 medical equipment and facilities
company: fujifilm corporation (japan)
producer: medical systems bisiness div., fujifilm corporation
director: kazuhisa horikiri, general manager, design center, fujifilm corporation
designer: hirotoshi ono, akihiko ikegami, design center, fujifilm corporation




suzuki jimny


the GOOD DESIGN award was founded in 1957 by the japanese ministry of international trade and industry and is hosted by the japan institute for design promotion. the ‘g mark’ emblem reflects comprehensive design values and principles that aim to enrich lives, industries and society.

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