SEOUL, June 5 (Yonhap) -- SK Telecom Co., South Korea's largest mobile carrier, said Friday it will enter the medical imaging market after investing in Nanox Imaging Ltd., an Israel-based digital X-ray system developer.
SK Telecom said it became the second-largest shareholder of Nanox after investing a total of US$23 million.
"We passionately seek to revolutionize health care by leveraging innovative technologies," SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-ho said. "We see Nanox as one of the most promising companies to make a real difference for early detection of diseases and higher standards of care to humankind."
While an analog X-ray system uses a metal filament as legacy sources, Nanox's digital X-ray solution utilizes its silicon microelectromechanical systems (MEMs) semiconductor technology, according to SK Telecom. It reduces radiation exposure and the device weighs only about 200 kilograms, one-fifth of existing X-ray equipment.
SK Telecom said it is in talks with Nanox to establish an advanced medical equipment manufacturing factory in South Korea. SK Telecom said that South Korea is the ideal place since it can create a synergy with its chipmaking affiliate SK hynix Inc. and is easy to cooperate with local biotech firms.
The telecom operator said it has already secured business rights for supplying Nanox's medical imaging products in South Korea and Vietnam, and will sell products once it obtains regulatory clearances.
SK Telecom said it plans to roll out various services using the digital X-ray technology with its affiliates like ADT Caps Co., a security service provider, and Invites Healthcare Co., a digital health care business.
In addition to medical use, the company said Nanox's digital X-ray technology can be applied in the screening process at airports and product quality inspections at manufacturing plants.
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