IBM sells Watson Health to private equity firm

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IBM is selling its Watson Health data and analytics business, the latest step in the company’s exit from what it once called a ‘moonshot’ business to improve healthcare, help save lives and cut costs medical.

The company is being sold for an undisclosed price to Francisco Partners, a private investment firm, the companies announced on Friday.

Watson Health was created as a separate company in 2015. IBM then spent more than $4 billion to acquire companies with medical data, billing records and diagnostic images on hundreds of millions of patients .

IBM has been trying to find buyers for the Watson Health business for over a year. And he was looking for a sale price of around $1 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported last year.

IBM had ceased operations. In 2020, the company discontinued two products designed for cancer diagnostics – Watson for Genomics and Watson for Oncology, developed with another early collaborator, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Since Arvind Krishna became chief executive in 2020, IBM has tightened its business focus and exited operations.

Last November, IBM divested its large back-office technology support and services business, which generates $19 billion in annual revenue. This company, called Kyndryl, has had lower profit margins and growth prospects than the areas IBM is currently focusing on, cloud computing and artificial intelligence. IBM retained a stake of just under 20% in Kyndryl.

IBM executives described the sale of Watson Health assets as part of this broader strategy. Tom Rosamilia, IBM’s senior vice president of software business, said the move was “a clear next step as IBM focuses even more on our hybrid cloud and AI-based strategy. platform”.

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