OREANDA-NEWS. SK Telecom (NYSE:SKM) announced that it opens 'SK Telecom Healthcare R&D Center' and 'Shenzhen VISTA-SK Medical Center' in Software Park in Shenzhen, China, signaling the company's entry into the country's healthcare market.

Shenzhen VISTA-SK Medical Center, opened jointly by SK Telecom and VISTA, a Chinese medical corporation, is sized 4,700m2 and has a general medical examination center that can examine 30,000 customers in a year and four specialized clinics of family medicine, pediatrics, dental care and gynecology.

SK Telecom established a joint venture (Shenzhen VISTA-SK Medical Center Co., Ltd) with VISTA in June 2013 and has participated in the management as the second largest shareholder.

VISTA, the business partner experienced with management of specialized clinics in Chinese metropolitan cities including Beijing, will form a strategic alliance with health insurance companies in the country and provide medical service through clinics in association with the general medical examination center. SK Telecom will take a role to explore new business opportunities in cooperation with the Chinese government by converging ICT to healthcare.

SK Telecom Healthcare R&D center, opening along with the general medical examination center, comprises IVD lab, Open Collaboration Center for joint projects with partner companies and a promotion center to display SK Telecom's healthcare businesses.

The IVD lab will conduct research and development linked to the general medical examination center with regard to IVD devices and reagents of NanoEnTek and Tianlong, companies that SK Telecom has invested, as well as studies to develop IVD products customized for Chinese market which have been led by SK Telecom Future Technology R&D Division.

Open Collaboration Center will facilitate comprehensive cooperation through joint research and business projects with Korean and Chinese member companies of Future Diagnosis Forum and other healthcare companies in China, while the promotion center will be used to showcase SK Telecom's healthcare businesses and vision.

Future Diagnosis Forum Consortium: Established by SK Telecom jointly with promising small-sized IVD device companies in 2013 for joint studies and efficient business development in the field of IVD, the consortuim currently works in collaboration with five Korean companies. 

The opening ceremony held on July 3 was attended by related people from home and abroad including Ha Sung-min, CEO of SK Telecom, Chen Biao, Deputy Mayor of Shenzhen, Fan Ming Chun, Chairman of Shenzhen Investment Holdings and Yan Yifeng, Chairman of VISTA CLINIC.

Before the opening ceremony, Ha met with Xu Qin, Mayor of Shenzhen, to discuss how to cooperate for expansion of healthcare industry in Shenzhen.

In the discussion, Xu Qin showed his will to support healthcare business of SK Telecom as a core project as it perfectly befits the city's bio/healthcare promotion policy of the municipal government. Shenzhen plans to expand the healthcare industry to as much as KRW 36 trillion in the total industry size by supporting healthcare enterprises to grow their size and pursue specialization.

Opening of Shenzhen VISTA-SK Medical Center and SK Telecom Healthcare R&D Center is especially meaningful as SK Telecom's healthcare business, one of the focus areas that the company is fostering as growth engines, has secured a foothold in China for further provision of healthcare services converged with SK Telecom's leading ICT, contributing to dissemination of Korea's advanced technologies abroad.

SK Telecom has selected China as a key target market for its healthcare business and plans to build additional general medical examination centers in other major cities of the country.

SK Telecom selected healthcare business as one of its growth engines and designated IVD device, healthcare service and Smart Hospital solution for hospitals and clinics as strategic areas to facilitate the healthcare business, under which the company has driven related businesses in different ways including R&D to secure core technologies, collaboration with promising local and overseas venture capitals, equity investment and etc.

Studies for IVD and health management service are being conducted respectively by Healthcare Group of SK Telecom Future Technology Division and Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH). New Business Division of SK Telecom is involved in development and sales of IVD devices in the form of equity investment in Tianlong Science and Technology and NanoEnTek, in-vitro diagnostic medical device manufacturers.

By acquiring 26 percent of stake in NanoEnTek in April 2014, SK Telecom aims to strengthen its global business competencies in life science products and IVD devices which are key businesses of NanoEnTek. Since 2012, SK Telecom has participated in the management of Tianlong Science and Technology Co. LTD. as its second largest shareholder, making inroads into China's healthcare market.

Also, SK Telecom signed an agreement with Ministry of National Guard of Saudi Arabia to export medical information system and set up a joint venture through a consortium of SK Telecom and SNU Bundang Hospital.

Meanwhile, SK Telecom plans to develop technologies in partnership with local and overseas healthcare companies in the related fields including next generation IVD platform, tailored products for Chinese market and etc. and act as a bridge for Korean small and medium sized enterprises to go into China's medical diagnostic device market.

Ha Sungmin, CEO of SK Telecom, said ЃgEstablishment of Shenzhen VISTA-SK Medical Center means more than just opening a medical center and it indicates an important starting point for future healthcare service and business. SK Telecom will do its utmost to add value to Korea's ICT, medical services and technologies in the global market by helping Korean healthcare sector to expand their business internationally.Ѓh