IBM (NYSE: IBM) Watson Health has completed its $2.6 billion acquisition of Truven Health Analytics, a leading provider of cloud-based healthcare data, analytics and insights. Truven brings more than 8,500 clients to the IBM Watson Health portfolio, including U.S. federal and state government agencies, employers, health plans, hospitals, clinicians and life sciences companies.
Through Truven, IBM gains extensive data spanning cost, claims, quality and outcomes information. With the completion of the acquisition, IBM and Truven data scientists will begin the process of using Watson Health’s cognitive capabilities to derive insights from Truven’s health data. Data and insights from Truven would inform benefit decisions for one in three Americans.
IBM anticipates that healthcare organizations will tap into this cloud-based data to take previously disparate data sets, including vast amounts of structured and unstructured data, and combine them together to create unique insights that help inform a broad range of health decisions in an effort to improve the quality of care at lower cost. Data from Truven, along with an array of solutions and services would also help optimize IBM offerings for value-based care.
This is IBM’s fourth major health data related acquisition since launching the Watson Health unit in April 2015. Truven will become part of IBM Watson Health and the acquisition bolsters the business unit’s global talent footprint to more than 5,000 employees, including hundreds of clinicians, epidemiologists, statisticians, healthcare administrators, policy experts and healthcare consultants.
IBM Watson is a commercially available cognitive computing capability representing a new era in computing. The system, delivered through the cloud, analyzes high volumes of data, understands complex questions posed in natural language, and proposes evidence-based answers. IBM Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions.
In April 2015, the company launched IBM Watson Health and the Watson Health Cloud platform. The new unit would help improve the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers to innovate by surfacing insights from the massive amount of personal health data being created and shared daily. The Watson Health Cloud allows this information to be de-identified, shared and combined with a dynamic and constantly growing aggregated view of clinical, research and social health data.