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Forbes | Foxconn Technology Group will invest in a British developer of digital, wearable medical devices as part of a longer-term diversification effort

by Ralph Jennings

Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s largest contract assembler of consumer electronics including Apple’s iPhones, will invest in a British developer of digital, wearable medical devices as part of a longer-term diversification effort.

The company said in a statement for this post it had invested £1 million ($1.36 million) in a partnership with the British neuromuscular device developer GyroGear.

This deal will advance “the type of digital healthcare transformation that aligns with Foxconn’s long-term vision to bring more of its advanced technology to applications in the healthcare sector,” the statement says.

Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision, has been moving into medical manufacturing since around 2014. Foxconn’s billionaire founder Terry Gou lost his first wife to cancer in 2005 and set up a foundation to support cancer research. Nine years later, his company bought a stake in the California-based medical device startup Sotera Wireless and a year after that it was in talks with Varian Medical Systems for the rights to sell radiation treatment devices in China.

Today, the company operates the medical units Genconn Biotech Corp., which specializes in cancer detection, and equipment maker Coning Technology Co. The 47-year-old Taiwanese firm showed new interest in medical devices last year when it agreed to work with New York-listed medical device developer Medtronic to make ventilators, which help keep Covid-19 patients alive.

And the company with $172.8 billion in annual sales has tried over the past decade to diversify its product lines as well as the geographic reach of its factories.

The investment in GyroGear will advance the British firm’s wearable medical device for tremor patient and give Foxconn exclusive rights to produce the devices in Asia after it launches in North America and Europe, the company statement says.

Foxconn and GyroGear plan to set up an R&D center in Taiwan for development of hardware, software, machine learning and clinical research to “accelerate the development of digital healthcare products and applications”, the statement says.

Investments in artificial intelligence could explain Foxconn’s latest interest in medical technology, says Brady Wang, an analyst in Taipei with market intelligence firm Counterpoint Research. “I think Foxconn wants to leverage its AI technology to create smart medical devices,” Wang says. “It wants to monetize its investment by working with GyroGear to provide consumer electronics.”

Content Credit: Forbes