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Samsung in talks with Nipro for medical device division sale

par Thomas Dworetzky , Contributing Reporter
From the issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News magazine

Samsung Electronics appears to be in talks with Japan-based Nipro Corporation about about a possible sale of the Korean industrial giant's in vitro diagnostic unit, according to Business Korea and the Korean Herald.

The news broke at an employee meeting on September 19, according to the unnamed sources, and is part of a plan to cut down its medical equipment holdings.

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The meeting was said to be led by Jeon Dong-soo, president of the medical device division at Samsung.

“The briefing was held in order to explain the plan transparently to employees,” a Samsung official told the Herald. “It’s not confirmed yet whether all of the 100 employees will be transferred or not.”

There was no official word, however, about a potential buyer, including Nipro, although the official did confirm to the paper that “talks are underway.”

A source explained to Business Korea that, "Samsung Electronics proposed that Nipro take over all of its employees and Nipro accepted it,” although there is as yet no official acknowledgment that such a step has been reached.

The Samsung refocus apparently will focus it more on X-rays, computerized tomography scanners and magnetic resonance imagers, the unnamed official reported.

In March, Samsung and Sonex Health announced a co-marketing agreement to promote the use of high-quality ultrasound imaging during micro-invasive procedures.

“High frequency ultrasound offers some specific advantages over X-ray, CT and MR imaging,” Dr. Darryl Barnes, CEO and co-founder of Sonex Health, told HCB News at the time. “[It] allows the surgeon the ability to see inside of the body in a dynamic way and in real time, while performing a procedure, without ionizing radiation exposure such as that associated with X-ray and CT imaging.”

Sonex Health is the manufacturer of the SX-One MicroKnife. It performs carpal tunnel release (CTR) procedures via a micro-incision that is up to five times smaller than the incision made during conventional CTR surgeries. The incision is so small that it can be patched with an adhesive bandage or strip.

Samsung also made news in March when it announced plans to connect its ARTIK Smart IoT Platform with the Philips HealthSuite Digital Platform.

“Our goal together is to provide better treatment for consumers by arming care professionals with more comprehensive, adequate and timely data that informs their patients' diagnosis and treatment plans,” Michael Golden, senior director of strategy and business development at Samsung IoT, told HCB News.
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