SK Telecom invests in Israeli digital X-ray firm Nanox

The companies plan on deploying 2,500 Nanox Systems in South Korea and Vietnam.

SK Telecom has invested an additional $20 million into Nanox, an Israeli medical imaging company, the company said on Friday.

It is in addition to the initial $5 million investment the telco made a year ago during Nanox's seeding round. With the new investment, SK Telecom has become the second largest shareholder of the firm.

The Israeli company also has Foxconn, FujiFilm, and Yozma as backers, having accrued $80 million in investment so far following the latest equity investment from SK Telecom, the company said.

Nanox produces a semiconductor-based digital X-ray device and accompanying cloud software.

According to SK Telecom, the company's device can film up to 30 times faster in clearer resolution compared to analogue X-ray machines.

Radiation exposure and cost of filming have also been reduced significantly with the device, the telco said, adding the increased accessibility would allow for the early detection of medical conditions.

Nanox also announced it will establish a subsidiary in South Korea. It will deploy 2,500 Nanox Systems that integrate its medical screening-as-a-service (MsaaS) model in South Korea and Vietnam.

SK Telecom said, in the long run, it also has plans to deploy the X-ray devices across various industries in collaboration with its South Korean affiliate companies. For example, it is currently considering using the devices for quality maintenance in semiconductors and batteries. Affiliates SK Hynix and SK Innovation produce memory chips and car batteries, respectively.  

SK Telecom saw a 6.4% drop in operating profits in the first quarter, which was mainly caused by rising 5G infrastructure costs.

Last month, it introduced an autonomous disinfectant robot to assist in the prevention of the spread COVID-19

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