- IBM is buying Truven Health Analytics for $2.6 billion. As part of the deal, IBM's Watson Health division is getting new data assets and capabilities, as well as 8,500 clients including government agencies, companies, hospitals, and clinics.
- The larger goal is to continue to building out IBM Watson Health's big-data capabilities in the healthcare space. The purchase of Truven Health will allow IBM to access the cost and treatment data of 200 million plus patients, according to the New York Times.
- Since the launch of the Watson Health division in April 2015, IBM has made four healthcare data-related acquisitions at a cost of $4 billion.
Gone are the days when IBM's main areas of focus were industry-standard computers, semiconductors, and services. IBM is leading the push to draw on big-data analytics in the healthcare space.
As the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Watson Health division approaches, Watson Health is growing its data assets in a big way. The Truven acquisition contributes to a treasure trove of patient payment-related information.
Patient payment information includes comprehensive data on everything from diagnoses, to drugs prescribed, to medical history. All of this information can be parsed through Watson's proprietary artificial intelligence software, and combined with all of the other data assets which came in previous acquisitions of Explorys, Phytel, and Merge Healthcare.
The massive amount of data could give IBM an edge in improving diagnostics and better understanding treatment and drug efficacy. However, it will also carry the burden of protecting all of that data, particularly in a cyber environment replete with state and non-state threats.