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SK Telecom rolls out mobile app-based DNA test service

All News 11:22 September 21, 2020

SEOUL, Sept. 21 (Yonhap) -- SK Telecom Co., South Korea's largest mobile carrier, said Monday it has released a mobile app-based DNA testing service in partnership with bio firm Macrogen Inc. and the mobile carrier's joint venture Invites Healthcare Co., expanding its involvement in the digital health care sector.

The subscription-based service, named care8 DNA, is offered through a mobile application, on which users can sign up for 29 types of genetic testing, such as for nicotine reliance and hair loss, according to the telecom operator.

Users will be delivered DNA test kits at home, which they send back with their saliva for analysis. Test results will be available on the care8 DNA app after two weeks.

A model showcases the genetic testing kit used in SK Telecom Co.'s health care service care8 DNA, in this photo provided by the company on Sept. 21, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE)(Yonhap)

SK Telecom said the service is more affordable compared to other local direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests, with a one-year subscription costing 99,000 won (US$85).

The mobile app also provides other services such as a personalized health coaching. SK Telecom said it plans to introduce more genetic tests.

SK Telecom has recently boosted its presence in the digital health care sector, such as increasing investment in Israel-based digital imaging startup Nano-X Imaging Ltd in June.

According to industry tracker BIS Research, the global DTC genetic testing market is expected to be worth $6.4 billion in 2028, compared with $824 million in 2018.

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr
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