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IBM Watson Health is planning to acquire US Cloud-based healthcare data provider Truven Health Analytics from Veritas Capital for around $2.6bn.

The acquisition will provide IBM Watson with around 8,500 clients, comprising US federal and state government agencies, employers, health plans, hospitals, clinicians and life science companies.

Truven Health is focused on providing analytic tools and services through brands such as MarketScan, 100 Top Hospitals, Advantage Suite, Micromedex, Simpler, ActionOI and JWA.

Following completion of the deal, IBM will incorporate Truven’s Cloud-based data set, which offers different types of cost, claims, quality and outcomes information, into its existing data sets.

IBM Watson Health general manager Deborah DiSanzo said: "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.

"Together, we’re well positioned to scale globally and to build first-in-class offerings designed to help our clients apply cognitive insights in a value-based care environment."

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"We are well-positioned to build first-in-class offerings designed to help our clients apply cognitive insights in a value-based care environment."

Through Watson Health Cloud, healthcare organisations will be able to take previously disparate data sets, including vast amounts of unstructured information, as well as combining them to create new insights that help inform a broad range of health decisions.

Truven Health Analytics president and CEO Mike Boswood said: "The Truven Health Analytics team is eager to combine our capabilities and expertise with the Watson Health portfolio."

Subject to customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close by the end of this year.

IBM Watson’s other health-related acquisitions include population-health firm Phytel, Cloud-based healthcare intelligence firm Explorys and medical-imaging firm Merge Healthcare.

The acquisitions added IBM Watson with partners and clients such as Apple, Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, Novo Nordisk, and CVS Health.

Image: Truven CEO Mike Boswood with IBM Watson Health general manager Deborah DiSanzo. Photo: courtesy of Flickr / ibmphoto24.