Skip to content
  • KOSPI 3006.16 -1.17 -0.04%
  • KOSDAQ 995.07 +1.37 +0.14%
  • KOSPI200 393.34 +0.16 +0.04%
  • USD/KRW 1175.8 0.20 0.02%
  • JPY100/KRW 1,031.72 3.87 0.38%
  • EUR/KRW 1,366.75 -3.12 -0.23%
  • CNH/KRW 184.04 0.22 0.12%
View Market Snapshot

Medical devices

InBody to expand into household, blood pressure monitoring markets

The global leader in body composition analysis devices to expand into bigger markets based on technical expertise

By Oct 06, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

InBody founder and CEO Cha Ki-chul during an interview with The Korea Economic Daily.
InBody founder and CEO Cha Ki-chul during an interview with The Korea Economic Daily.

South Korea’s InBody Co., the global market leader of body composition analyzer devices, will be making a strategic turn to focus on the fast-growing household segment. The company so far has been putting efforts primarily in the expert segment targeting fitness clubs, hospitals and other medical facilities.

InBody’s founder and CEO Cha Ki-chul said on Oct. 6 at an interview with The Korea Economic Daily that the company will newly develop a new body composition analyzer for home use by patients with chronic diseases. The CEO added that the household segment is estimated to be sized at about 1.5 trillion won ($1.3 billion), about seven times the market size of the expert segment at 200 billion won ($168 million).  

“We will grow sales in the household segment by more than 50% annually,” said the CEO.

Founded in 1996, InBody launched its first body composition analyzer in 1998. The biotech startup entered the US market as early as 2000 when its first overseas office was set up in Beverly Hills, California. The company now employs more than 800 professionals around the world and generated an operating profit of 19.1 billion won ($16.1 million) last year on revenue of 107.1 billion won ($89.9 million).

The sales generated in the household segment accounted for only 6% of the company’s 2020 revenue. The vast majority its sales comes from medical facilities where InBody’s devices have long been dominant. For instance, the company added that nine out of 10 body composition analyzers at a top Japanese hospital are its products.

InBody’s key competitive edge over peers is technology. The company developed an eight-point tactile electrode system, for the first time in the world, that can measure the composition of our body parts separately. For instance, InBody can measure the amount of fat in our legs and the amount of water in our hands at the same time.

InBody will make inroads into the household market with such technology, by focusing on the measurement of body water, which in turn can measure each body part’s level of swelling. InBody added that there are more than 1,000 academic papers published worldwide using its devices and equipment.

In addition, InBody is considering a spin-off of its blood pressure monitoring devices business into a separate company to accelerate expansion in the sector. The global blood pressure monitoring market is estimated to be around 3 trillion won ($2.5 billion), about ten times that of the body composition analysis market.

InBody's blood pressure monitoring device, BPBIO 750.
InBody's blood pressure monitoring device, BPBIO 750.

But the global blood pressure monitoring market is largely led by the dominant market leader OMRON of Japan. Cha believes that the dominance will be hard to challenge without having a groundbreaking technology in the area. The company’s focus in on accuracy of the measurements.

“To differentiate ourselves from the Chinese companies with better price competitiveness, we must significantly outperform them in technology. Like in the body composition analysis sector where we are maintaining dominance over our rivals, we will launch an industry-leading brand within the blood pressure monitoring sector,” said InBody CEO.

Write to Ju-hyun Lee at deep@hankyung.com

Daniel Cho edited this article.

Comment 0

0/300