- IBM's $1 billion purchase of Merge Healthcare gives the computing giant access to imaging information from thousands of healthcare providers.
- The move gives IBM the ability to tie together imaging, health records, cloud-based storage and supercomputing.
- Merge will be placed in IBM's health analytics unit -- the home of the Watson supercomputer.
IBM has been a busy player in the healthcare space this year. Earlier this year, it purchased health management software Phytel and healthcare intelligence cloud company Explorys, and it recently announced a major partnership with CVS.
The word IBM is tossing around about the Merge acquisition is "see." The Merge acquisition gives Watson an enormous amount of imaging data, allowing the self-teaching supercomputer to potentially obtain insights "from a consolidated, patient-centric view of current and historical images, electronic health records, data from wearable devices and other related medical data," IBM said in a news release. Combine that with data that will be available from its other acquisitions this year, and a number of potential research (and ultimately, profit) paths could be built.