Sony has recently made a move into the healthcare market by acquiring Micronics Inc., through its American subsiduary–Sony Corporation of America (SCA).
Micronics manufactures and conducts research and development of near patient Point of Care devices and products for disease diagnosis, prognosis, treatment monitoring and blood testing. They also provide comprehensive product development for third-party clients.
According to the article, Sony has acquired Micronics to accelerate its own research and development, particularly for Point of Care diagnostic equipment, as well as to accelerate the commercialization of these products.
“Near patient Point of Care diagnosis refers to the ability to facilitate rapid and accurate results via testing that can be performed in a physician’s office, emergency room, or patient’s hospital bedside, rather than having to send a patient’s specimen(s) to an off-site laboratory.
Utilizing its microfluidics technologies, one of Micronics, Inc.’s main strengths since its inception in 1996, the company has yielded numerous achievements in the advancement of near patient Point of Care products in both the molecular and immunoassay diagnostic test domain, in part through its collaborative partnerships with private and public organizations, both within the U.S. and internationally. Micronics has incorporated this rich experience in its development of a leading near patient Point of Care molecular diagnostic platform for the diagnosis of infectious disease, which has been the company’s main focus in recent years.”
Currently, Micronics first product in clinical testing is an immunohematology test called the ABORhCard®.
“Micronics also is in advanced stage of development with a paradigm-shifting family of molecular diagnostic products that integrate nucleic acid amplification tests (NATs) for rapid point of care testing. This unique technology platform, called the PanNAT™ system, will provide the ability to perform infectious disease molecular diagnostic tests in a decentralized environment and in a fraction of the time of current NATs today.”
The test makes it possible to rapidly screen blood types.
“The ABORhCard is a fully-integrated, closed system, sample-to-result test being developed to provide both ABO and Rh blood type from a fingerstick blood sample. The test consists of a disposable, credit card sized device that contains anti-A, anti-B and anti-D antibodies printed into discrete microfluidic channels. A tube of buffer is included in the packaging for antibody re-hydration. Once the blood sample is applied, the test is performed with visible results in less than one minute.”
This acquisition represents a move on Sony’s part to be part of the profitable and expanding health/medical technology field. Micronics will be a wholly owned subsidiary of SCA, and will work with Sony’s life sciences R & D team to jointly develop medically related products and technologies. The company will continue to operate in Redmond, WA under the current management, led by President Karen Hedine.
“According to Hedine, ‘As a new member of the Sony family, we at Micronics aim to make full use of Sony’s superior consumer-based technologies, product development capabilities and capacity to distribute products globally in the development of Micronics’ products. We believe that the powerful combination of Sony’s expertise with that of Micronics’ will lend itself to a new generation of market-responsive diagnostic products.’ “
Time will tell whether the combination of Sony and Micronics will offer creative solutions that are responsive to the rapidly evolving needs for Point of Care diagnosis and treatment across the globe.