IBM announced Thursday morning that it will pay $2.6 billion to acquire Truven Health Analytics for its Watson Health unit.
The buy will mark IBM's fourth major acquisition for Watson Health, a strategic move designed to boost IBM's capabilities in the emerging field of value-based care.
IBM executives say the purchase adds not only a massive repository of health data to the Watson Health Cloud, but also an extensive client roster to IBM's Watson Health unit.
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The deal is projected to close later this year, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions and applicable regulatory reviews.
Truven brings hundreds of types of cost, claims, quality and outcomes data. Once integrated into the Watson Health Cloud, that information can be leveraged to deliver insights-as-a-service based on IBM's data repository that will now top approximately 300 million patients.
The deal nearly doubles Watson Health's worldwide footprint and brings to IBM Watson Truven's marquee roster of clients – which span life sciences, providers, payers and government agencies.
"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," Deborah DiSanzo, general manager for Watson Health, said in a press statement announcing the pending deal.
She added that Truven's offerings would complement Watson Health's broad-based team, capabilities and offerings and would help Watson Health to scale globally to help clients apply cognitive insights in a value-based care environment.
Today, Truven provides cloud-based healthcare data, analytics and insights to more than 8,500 clients, including U.S. federal and state government agencies, employers, health plans, hospitals, clinicians and life sciences companies. Data and insights from Truven inform benefit decisions for 1 in 3 Americans.
Just about a year ago, at HIMSS15, IBM acquired population health company Phytel, cloud-based intelligence company Explorys and medical imaging company Merge Healthcare. IBM has also compiled a roster of partners and clients that include Apple, Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Novo Nordisk and CVS Health.
With the acquisition of Truven, the employee number for the Watson Health unit will total more than 5,000.