IBM is diving deeper into healthcare, as it seeks to acquire Truven Health Analytics for $2.6 billion, the company announced Thursday.
The deal, expected to close later this year, marks the fourth acquisition IBM's Watson Health unit has made since it was formed in April 2015. Big Blue is aiming to add a broader data set, an extensive client roster, and a large team of medical related professionals through the Truven acquisition.
Truven, owned by Veritas Capital, is a provider of cloud-based healthcare data analytics, with 8,500 clients ranging from US federal and state agencies to hospitals, health plans, clinics, life science companies, and employers.
IBM, via the deal, will also be gaining 5,000 employees, including clinicians, epidemiologists, healthcare administrators, statisticians, policy experts, and healthcare consultants.
"With this acquisition, IBM will be one of the world's leading health data, analytics and insights companies, and the only one that can deliver the unique cognitive capabilities of the Watson platform," said Deborah DiSanzo, general manager for IBM Watson Health, in a statement. "Together, we're well positioned to scale globally and to build first-in-class offerings designed to help our clients apply cognitive insights in a value-based care environment."
Since launching Watson Health less than a year ago, Big Blue has acquired Merge Healthcare, a medical imaging software company; Phytel, to manage the health of various populations; and Explorys, a cloud-based healthcare intelligence company.
Through these acquisitions, IBM's Watson Health Cloud merged previously disparate data sets and can provide healthcare professionals with the means to glean information to make decisions. The combined data sets from these three previously acquired companies represent approximately 300 million patients' lives.
Watson Health targets healthcare providers that rely on value-based care models that need data and insight to document how certain types of patient care contribute to reaching a desired healthcare outcome for a given cost, versus a traditional fee-for-service healthcare model.