IBM to buy Merge Healthcare in $1b deal

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

IBM Corp (IBM.N) said it would buy med­i­cal im­age com­pany Merge Healthcare Inc (MRGE.O) in a $1 bil­lion deal and com­bine it with its newly formed health an­a­lyt­ics unit, which is pow­ered by its fa­mous Wat­son su­per­com­puter.

IBM plans to com­bine data and im­ages from Merge Healthcare's med­i­cal imag­ing man­age­ment plat­form with Wat­son's cloud-based healthcare com­put­ing sys­tem.

The sys­tem an­a­lyzes high vol­umes of data, un­der­stands com­plex ques­tions posed in nat­u­ral lan­guage and pro­poses ev­i­dence-based an­swers.

The deal will help physi­cians and re­searchers col­late and an­a­lyze data such as pa­tient's med­i­cal and fam­ily history, data on oth­ers with sim­i­lar symp­toms and clin­i­cal re­search, tri­als and out­comes.

"Imag­ing is cen­tral to ef­fec­tive di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment ... but it is in­creas­ingly im­por­tant to share these im­ages be­tween providers to de­liver high qual­ity, cost­ef­fec­tive care," Dougherty and Co an­a­lyst Brooks O'Neil wrote in a note.

IBM has been ex­pand­ing ag­gres­sively in the healthcare IT sec­tor. The Merge deal is the com­pany's third ma­jor health-re­lated ac­qui­si­tion since launch­ing the Wat­son Health unit in April.

"Or­gan­i­cally, we will con­tinue to build and in­vest from a re­search per­spec­tive in core tech­nolo­gies," said Stephen Gold, vice pres­i­dent, IBM Wat­son.

"We will com­pli­ment and sup­ple­ment that with ac­qui­si­tions," Gold told Reuters.

With this ac­qui­si­tion IBM will get ac­cess 7,500 U.S. healthcare sites.

Merge Healthcare share­hold­ers will get $7.13 per share at a pre­mium of 31.8 per­cent to Wed­nes­day's close, the com­pa­nies said.

Merge shares were trad­ing at $7.08 by af­ter­noon. IBM shares were lit­tle changed at $156.33.

The eq­uity por­tion of the of­fer is val­ued at $713.1 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to Reuters cal­cu­la­tions based on 100 mil­lion Merge Healthcare shares out­stand­ing as of June 30.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.