South Korean medical AI company made its debut on KOSDAQ, a trading board of Korea Exchange, for an IPO of 37.8 billion won ($33.6 million) by issuing 1.8 million shares.
WHY IT MATTERS
The company had accumulated an operating deficit of 7 billion won ($6.2 million) by the third quarter of 2020, and the funds will be a much needed injection of cash. Vuno plans to invest in research and development infrastructure as well as the hiring of researchers and scientists in medicine and AI. By going public, the firm will also be able to accumulate more capital to fuel its growth in order to continue scaling.
Vuno has been expanding its range of offerings since 2014. These include medical imaging in radiology and pathology, bio-signalling as well as automated medical transcriptions which offer a more extensive array of AI solutions that are able to resolve differing medical needs across different departments.
The WHO’s report, "Global strategy on human resources for health: Workforce 2030", suggests that in nine years the world can expect to face a medical workforce shortage of 15.6 million people. According to Vuno CEO Hyun-jun Kim, the company can remedy that shortage by "providing fast, accurate assistance in four areas – medical imaging, pathology, vital signs and electronic medical records."
THE LARGER TREND
To cope with the strain of limited manpower, healthcare providers have been increasingly leaning towards AI to augment everyday functions. For example, the United States’ orthopaedic hospital Orthoindy turned to an iPhone app to help free its physicians from after-hours charting.
ON THE RECORD
"The IPO signifies a major leap forward for the company. It will give us a key branding opportunity and serve as a growth momentum to further accelerate both local and global expansion through major partnerships with UBCare, one of the largest EMR giants in Korea, M3, Japan’s largest medical service platform and CHC, Taiwan’s major healthcare group and many more to come within the year," said Kim.