Venture Capital: Israeli Start-Up Nanox, Which Is Reinventing X-Ray, gets $20M
Nanox has developed a digital x-ray source that reduces the costs of imaging systems by orders of magnitude.
Israeli company Nanox wants to bring inexpensive and quick medical imaging services to the vast majority of the world’s population that currently has no access to these facilities. “Early detection via medical imaging may potentially save millions of lives annually for cancer patients alone,” says the company on its website. South Korean telecom major SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM) has invested $20 million in the firm. (Vator)
Nanox medical imaging
“The availability of a lower cost device has the potential to substantially expand medical imaging availability and improve the accessibility of early-detection services across the globe,” said Ran Poliakine, CEO, to Vator.
SK Telecom, an investor in Nanox, put in $ 5 million about a year ago. It is now following up with an additional equity investment of $ 20 million.
Further, Nanox and SK Telecom will ink a collaboration to deploy 2500 numbers of the company’s Nanox System MsaaS (medical screening as a service) model in South Korea and Vietnam. This will bring medical imaging to all strata of society.
This collaboration seeks to make medical imaging available in a wide range of clinics and medical centers. Many of these cannot afford the expensive medical imaging equipment currently available.
The Israeli company will also establish a wholly-owned subsidiary that will scale up production of its X-Ray source semiconductor.
The latest investment by SK Telecom brings the size of the current round up to $ 51 million. The total capital of the company to $ 80 million.
Other investors in the imaging company include Foxconn (TPE: 2354), FujiFilm (TYO: 4901) and others.
Semi-conductor based imaging source
Conventional x-ray machines rely on heating a metal filament to 2000 degrees Celsius. The filament then emits electrons that produce an x-ray when they collide with an anode. The anode must rotate continuously to distribute the heat produced.
However, Nanox’s solution instead heats a silicon chip which in turn distributes the heat across 100 million digitally controlled nanocones. The electrons hit different parts of the anode and this keeps the anode cool. There are no moving parts in the Nanox system. The clinic can upload images to the Nanox cloud for diagnosis anywhere in the world.
The chip is much smaller than the filament. The Nanox system is therefore much smaller in size and less expensive versus conventional machines.
“Once regulatory approval is obtained, Nanox plans to penetrate the global market by deploying its Nanox System in collaboration with governments, hospitals, and clinic chains,” said Poliakine to Vator.
“The company will offer its Nanox.Arc under a pay-per-scan business model, at affordable and substantially lower prices than currently available alternatives. The Nanox.Cloud is being designed to provide an end-to-end medical imaging service, that covers AI analysis and more.”
A traditional scan in the United States costs an average of $3,000, while globally, that average is $300, Poliakine said to Crunchbase. Nanox is charging $30 per scan.
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