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February 18, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 5:11pm

IBM Watson bolsters health cloud, acquires healthcare analytics firm for $2.6bn

News: IBM Watson Health will now hold the world's largest collection of health-related data.

By CBR Staff Writer

IBM Watson Health has announced that it intends to buy Truven Health Analytics, a cloud-based healthcare data analytics and insights provider for $2.6bn.

With the deal, IBM Watson Health will gain access to Truven’s portfolio of more than 8500 clients which include US federal and state government agencies, employers, health plans, hospitals, clinicians and life science companies.

IBM says that when the deal is completed, its health cloud will hold one of the world’s largest and most diverse collections of health-related data, pertaining to at least 300 million patient lives acquired from three companies.

IBM will integrate Truven’s various datasets about cost, claims, quality and outcomes with its existing data sets.

With the IBM Watson acquisition of of Truven, many health organisations, which have previously used disparate data sets and vast amounts of unstructured data, can now structure and combine them to create unique insights that help in taking informed decisions.

IBM Watson Health, general manager, Deborah DiSanzo said: "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."

"Truven’s impressive team, extensive client roster, and expansive data sets complement Watson Health’s broad-based team, capabilities and offerings.

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"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."

Truven Health Analytics President and CEO, Mike Boswood said: "The Truven Health Analytics team is eager to combine our capabilities and expertise with the Watson Health portfolio."

"This will help catapult the industry forward to transform healthcare and to save and improve lives."

The acquisition of Truven Health Analytics is the fourth major health acquisition after the launch of IBM Watson Health in April 2015.

When the deal finally closes later this year, IBM would have invested more than $4b in acquiring and building an array of healthcare capabilities intended to help professionals improve healthcare, bring down costs and offer value-based care solutions.

In April, IBM bought healthcare intelligence cloud company Explorys to strengthen the capability of IBM Watson Health.

The company acquired Explorys to boost its healthcare analytics and cloud computing capability.

In May last year, IBM had acquired Dallas based Phytel, a provider of integrated population health management software for undisclosed sum.

In October, the company bought Merge Healthcare Incorporated, a provider of medical image handling and processing, interoperability and clinical systems for $1bn.


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