Under terms of the transaction, whose closing is subject to regulatory review, Merge shareholder approval, and other customary closing conditions, and anticipated to occur later this year, Merge shareholders would receive $7.13 per share in cash, for a total transaction value of $1 billion.
The acquisition aims to give Watson the ability to “see” by bringing together Watson’s advanced image analytics and cognitive capabilities with data and images obtained from Merge Healthcare Incorporated’s medical imaging management platform.
According to a note:
IBM plans to leverage the Watson Health Cloud to analyze and cross-reference medical images against a deep trove of lab results, electronic health records, genomic tests, clinical studies and other health-related data sources, already representing 315 billion data points and 90 million unique records. Merge’s clients could compare new medical images with a patient’s image history as well as populations of similar patients to detect changes and anomalies. Insights generated by Watson could then help healthcare providers in fields including radiology, cardiology, orthopedics and ophthalmology to pursue more personalized approaches to diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of patients.
Led by Justin Dearborn, chief executive officer, Merge provides enterprise and cloud-based technologies for image intensive specialties, clinical trials software with end-to-end study support and other intelligent health data and analytics solutions.
The company’s technology platforms are used at more than 7,500 U.S. healthcare sites, as well as at top clinical research institutes and pharmaceutical firms.