In an attempt to expand its global presence in the health care industry, IBM has been getting rather aggressive. The company on Thursday morning announced the US$ 1 billion acquisition of medical imaging leader Merge Healthcare.
This is the third such acquisition since the setting up of Watson Health in April, IBM’s new unit based on the innovative Watson technology. This move is likely to help the company redirect its core strength to one of the biggest industries of the US economy.
Watson has already begun teaming up with health care bigwigs such as Cleveland Clinic and Memorial Sloan Kettering to becoming a system that learns from its evaluation of situations in the past.
Combining Watson’s commanding cognitive computing engine as well as the massive amount of cloud based health care data and Merge Healthcare’s superior technology platform for the exchange of medical images such as mammographies and CAT scans, Watson will be able to help doctors in making effective and efficient decisions.
Senior vice president of IBM Research and Solutions Portfolio John Kelly said on Thursday that as a leader that has proven itself in delivering health care solutions for the last 20 years and more, Merge Healthcare is an incredible addition to the Watson Health platform.
Health care will turn out to be one of the biggest growth areas of IBM over the next decade. This is the main reason, John Kelly said, that the company has been making key investments to fuel industry transformation and to encourage a more improved quality of patient care.
The analytical and cognitive capabilities of Watson, Merge, and other acquisitions of the company have helped IBM in partnering with research institutions, health care providers, insurers, biomedical companies, and other organizations who are dedicated to transforming the nature of health care in the 21st century.