Naver debuted in the market as South Korea’s first web portal and search engine, and this was in 1999. The company has expanded and branched out to several other businesses, including e-commerce and entertainment, and now it is adding another biz to its portfolio as it invests in the area of healthcare.
Naver Corp. is officially entering the healthcare business with its new investment to acquire stakes in ezCaretech, a leading Electronic Health Record (EHR) provider headquartered in South Korea and operating globally including the U.S., Japan, and Saudi Arabia.
The online platform giant is planning to buy at least a 10% stake in ezCaretech that is reportedly worth ₩30 billion or about $26 million. With this investment, Naver will start its data-based healthcare venture through the said medical IT service provider.
According to The Korea Economic Daily, Naver and ezCaretech are already in the final stage of negotiations and they could sign a deal before this month ends. If everything goes well, Naver will become the second-biggest shareholder of ezCaretech following Seoul National University Hospital. The talks are ongoing and at this time, nothing has been decided yet.
The EHR company was founded in 2001 and it is servicing more or less 100 medical institutions in S. Korea and overseas. It provides EHR and electronic medical record (EMR) services by installing these medical recording systems in hospitals. In its home ground, the Seoul National University Hospital, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, and Ewha Womans University Medical Center are its clients.
“ezCaretech has accumulated the EMR/EHR system management know-how since the early 2000s and Naver, as an IT company, has strong expertise in data management and cloud services,” KED quoted an industry official as saying. “A combination of the two would create synergy in digital and remote healthcare services.”
News Directory3 reported that once Naver completes its stake acquisition in ezCaretech, it will start the business by focusing and prioritizing the EMR cloud business first. From here, analysts think the company will slowly expand its field in the healthcare niche. Eventually, it may become a global medical data-based IT service provider like Amazon and Google.
“Global information technology (IT) companies such as Google and Amazon have entered the healthcare market by sharing data with the American Medical Association and insurance companies,” Naver CEO, Lee Sang Heon, previously said regarding his IT vision for the company. “The core of the healthcare business is data, and the IT company that can best utilize it is the right person.”