Samsung Medison buying French ultrasound AI startup for $92M

Seoul-based medical equipment maker Samsung Medison has recently agreed to fully purchase Sonio, a foetal ultrasound […]

Seoul-based medical equipment maker Samsung Medison has recently agreed to fully purchase Sonio, a foetal ultrasound AI company in France, for 126 billion won ($92 million).

The four-year-old French startup has been developing IT solutions for obstetrics and gynaecology ultrasound, assisting medical professionals in documenting and evaluating ultrasound examinations.

Last year, it obtained the United States FDA 510(k) clearance for Sonio Detect, which is said to be the first machine-agnostic AI assistant software that automates ultrasound reporting and provides image quality control.

WHY IT MATTERS

“Collaboration with Sonio will bring together best-in-class ultrasound AI technology and reporting capabilities to bring a paradigm shift in the prenatal ultrasound exam,” said Samsung Medison CEO Yong Kwan Kim. 

With Sonio on its portfolio, Samsung Medison joins a growing list of ultrasound system providers that are now enabled by AI. In 2022, ultrasound device maker Exo also bought an ultrasound AI provider, Medo, to offer advanced imaging capabilities. Early last year, GE HealthCare acquired Caption Health, a big name in ultrasound AI.

Upon completion of their transaction, Sonio will remain an independent company based in France. It will proceed with its commercial growth independently while maintaining the compatibility of its products with any ultrasound device systems.

“In addition to close collaboration with Samsung Medison, as an independent company, Sonio will continue to advance medical reporting technology and diagnostic software globally, including for underserved areas in healthcare,” added Sonio CEO Cécile Brosset. 

The closing of their transaction is still subject to regulatory approvals, including that of the French Ministry of the Economy and Finance.

THE LARGER TREND

Sonio first partnered with Samsung through Samsung Healthcare France in 2021. Their collaboration aimed to confirm its AI solution for pregnancy monitoring and prenatal diagnosis.  

Seeking further expansion across Asia, Sonio also tied up with biotechnology firm LifeCell last year to promote its AI offering in the Indian market, where about a hundred babies are born every two minutes.

Meanwhile, Sonio raised $14 million in Series A funding last year for its commercial launch in the United States. The funds were also intended to support its R&D efforts and adapt its AI for portable ultrasound devices and point of care.

Original Article: (https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/asia/samsung-medison-buying-french-ultrasound-ai-startup-92m)