Shown above is a pain relief home device from LG Electronics. The firm has focused on the digital healthcare business after scrapping its smartphone business in April. Photo courtesy of LG Electronics
SEOUL, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- LG Electronics is betting on the digital healthcare business after scrapping its money-losing smartphone line last year.
The conglomerate announced Thursday that it had launched a pain relief home device, called MediPain, as its latest healthcare product.
LG Electronics said that the machine, which is designed to intercept the transmission of pain signals in the brain, had won the approval of South Korea's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety as a medical device.
After the device's launch in South Korea, the company will seek approval from other countries.
The company, which manufactures computers, TVs and home appliances, pivoted toward the medical device sector after it stopped producing mobile phones in April 2021.
LG Electronics released an advanced X-ray detector using artificial intelligence last June. It also signed a partnership in October with KAIST, South Korea's top engineering university, to set up a digital healthcare research center.
LG was originally a juggernaut in the cellphone business, once competing with cross-town rival Samsung Electronics. In 2010, it took third place in the global market in terms of sales, following Nokia and Samsung.
Yet, the company failed to catch up with its rivals in the transition to smartphone products, the paradigm shift prompted by the advent of the Apple iPhone in 2007.
As a result, LG Electronics recorded more than $4 billion in deficits in the mobile phone business between 2015 and 2020, which forced the firm to leave the market.
"After stopping its smartphone production, LG appears to put forth great efforts to find new cash cows," Seoul-based business tracker Leaders Index CEO Park Ju-gun told UPI News Korea.
"To become a genuine powerhouse in the digital healthcare market like GE and Siemens, however, LG needs to tap into the business-to-business market. I am not sure how much LG is ready for that," he said.