- IBM today announced the acquisition of leading population health management software provider Phytel to help bolster the company's analytics offerings; and of big data cloud service Explorys, a former Cleveland Clinic spin-off.
- The acquisitions will become part of IBM's new Watson Health unit, also launched today at HIMSS. Watson Health, to be headquartered in Boston, MA, is a dedicated company arm to help healthcare organizations employ meaningful analytics to improve outcomes. The unit includes the development of the secure Watson Health Cloud.
- IBM also announced new, non-exclusive partnerships with Apple, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic to leverage information collected from personal health devices.
These were some meaty announcements from IBM late on Monday afternoon at HIMSS, but they all add up to one thing: IBM is trying to corner the market on data from wearables. It has acquired two companies that bolster its ability to extract meaningful data from the glut of personal health information pouring out of these still-new devices and it has created both the company and the cloud platform to aggregate, analyze and ultimately share that data securely.
"All this data can be overwhelming for providers and patients alike, but it also presents an unprecedented opportunity to transform the ways in which we manage our health," said John E. Kelly III, IBM senior vice president, solutions portfolio and research. "Only IBM has the advanced cognitive capabilities of Watson and can pull together the vast ecosystem of partners, practitioners and researchers needed to drive change, as well as to provide the open, secure and scalable platform needed to make it all possible."