IBM to buy healthcare data and analytics provider Truven Health Analytics for $2.6 bn

US technology giant International Business Machines Corp (IBM) yesterday struck a deal to buy healthcare data and analytics provider Truven Health Analytics, for $2.6 billion, its fourth health data-related acquisition in the past year.

Truven is being acquired by IBM from private equity firm Veritas Capital, which had purchased the Michigan-based company in 2012 from Thomson Reuters Corp for $1.25 billion.

Truven Health Analytics provides unbiased information, analytic tools, benchmarks, research, and services to hospitals and clinicians, employers and health plans, state and federal government agencies, life sciences companies, and policymakers.

The 40 year-old company owns brands in healthcare, such as MarketScan, 100 Top Hospitals, Advantage Suite, Micromedex, Simpler, ActionOI and JWA.

Post closing, IBM's health cloud will own one of the world's largest and most diverse collections of health-related data, representing an aggregate of approximately 300 million patient lives acquired from its three earlier acquisitions like Phytel Inc, Explorys Inc., and Merge Healthcare Inc.

IBM said that Truven Health Analytics represents its fourth major health-data related acquisition since launching the Watson Health unit in April 2015. Upon closing IBM will have invested more than $4 billion to acquire and build its healthcare capabilities.

IBM plans to integrate Truven's extensive cloud-based data set spanning hundreds of different types of cost, claims, quality and outcomes information with its Watson Health portfolio.

"With this acquisition, IBM will be the world's leading health data, analytics and insights company, 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 statement.