Samsung Medison acquires French AI startup Sonio

2024.05.09 10:27:39

[Courtesy of Samsung Medison and Sonio]이미지 확대

[Courtesy of Samsung Medison and Sonio]

Samsung Medison, Samsung Electronics’ subsidiary that specializes in medical devices, announced that it acquired French AI-based medical technology startup Sonio. The acquisition is viewed as a strategic move by Samsung to secure AI talent in the medical device sector and enhance its technological prowess.

Samsung’s foray into M&As comes just six months after its subsidiary, Harman, acquired music platform Roon in November 2023.

Samsung Electronics said on Wednesday that Samsung Medison signed a stock purchase agreement to acquire Sonio, which specializes in ultrasound diagnostic reporting technology. Samsung Medison plans to acquire all shares of Sonio for about 126.5 billion won ($92.5 million).

Founded in 2020, Sonio aims to promote the health of pregnant women and fetuses and has developed solutions centered around ultrasound diagnostic software, enabling medical professionals to access and manage patients’ medical records with ease. Its flagship technology, “Detect,” an AI diagnostic assistance tool for obstetrics and gynecology, received approval for sale from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August 2023. The enhanced version of this tool also received additional sales approval in April 2024, following which it secured large-scale supply contracts in the U.S. market.

Sonio’s AI diagnostic reporting system, which quantifies ultrasound scan results and systematically organizes them, is built on a cloud-based infrastructure, reducing initial investment costs for healthcare facilities and offering easy maintenance.

By acquiring Sonio, Samsung Medison aims to secure top-tier AI development talent in Europe and integrate Sonio’s AI diagnostic assistance capabilities and reporting technology into its own medical AI solutions. The South Korean company also anticipates that the technology will significantly reduce diagnostic time for medical professionals and improve diagnostic quality.

[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon and Minu Kim]이미지 확대

[Graphics by Song Ji-yoon and Minu Kim]

Samsung Medison has been incorporating AI diagnostic assistance features into various medical fields such as radiology, obstetrics and gynecology, and orthopedics to enhance convenience for medical professionals as well as expanding the application areas of ultrasound diagnostic devices. Samsung Medison’s flagship ultrasound diagnostic device, HERA W10 Elite, for example, incorporates various AI-based diagnostic assistance features such as Heart Assist, Biometry Assist, and View Assist, which significantly reduce repetitive tasks across obstetrics and gynecology.

Heart Assist automatically measures key aspects related to the fetus’ heart, allowing easy access to automatically categorized measurement results and statistical graphs to diagnose any conditions.

Biometry Assist and View Assist, which are also based on AI, enhance measurement convenience for medical professionals and streamline the diagnostic process by automatically annotating fetal growth indicators, significantly reducing repetitive measurement tasks.

Samsung Medison’s revenue has been steadily increasing thanks to its usage of these innovative technologies. The company saw revenues of 397.3 billion won in 2021, 485.1 billion won in 2022, and 517.4 billion won in 2023, while operating profit was 86.4 billion won in 2023.

By Choi Seung-jin and Minu Kim

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