Daily Israel Report

Sony to Invest in Israeli Medical Technologies

Sony Corporation actively seeking to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Israeli medical technologies, sources say.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/19/2012, 7:14 AM

Israeli doctors in action (illustration)
Israeli doctors in action (illustration)
Flash 90

Sony Corporation is actively seeking to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Israeli medical technologies, the business newspaper Globes reported on Sunday.

Sources told the newspaper that the company has established a team to review the Israeli market and seek out companies for investment or acquisition. The team has already held intensive meetings with Israeli venture capital funds and companies.

This is the first time that Sony has operated in such a manner, noted Globes, and if the process is successful, the companies acquired may form the basis for a Sony development center in Israel.

The link between the Japanese consumer electronics giant and medical technologies is not as astonishing as may first appear, noted the report. The company is already active in the field, as it offers technologies for documentation, storage, and specialized cameras for imaging and devices for recording the images, high-resolutions screens for displaying images and medical information, and printers. Sony is also interested in batteries for medical devices, which must be more reliable than regular batteries.

Globes said that the vision of cooperation goes even farther, such as physical training or physiotherapy via gaming programs on TV, including locating the patient, checking his or her vital signs, and customizing the body movements. Another example is to carry out blood tests via devices linked to smartphones, storing the data, and sending the results immediately to the doctor.

Israel has a wide range of companies that might interest Sony, according to the report, including imaging companies such as Given Imaging Ltd., Medigus Ltd., Check Cap Ltd., and Arineta Ltd., no name a few.

Last week, Sony Mobile introduced its new Xperia S smartphone, scheduled to arrive in Israel in April, at a special news conference.

Sony’s products are popular in Israel and, during 2012, Sony Mobile plans to open four new concept stores across the country, which will be joining an existing store at the Ayalon Mall in Ramat Gan.

Antony Barounas, a Vice President at Sony Mobile’s customer unit, told Arutz Sheva at the news conference that in terms of technology, Israel is the “best of the best.”

“The Israeli market for us at Sony is the second biggest market in terms of smartphones, on a worldwide basis,” said Barounas. “First is Singapore, second is Israel.”

The reason Israel ranking so high, he explained, is that Israelis always want the best and want it earlier than the rest of the market.