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IBM buys everything that's health-related

Staff writer |
IBM announced plans to acquire Phytel, a provider of integrated population health management software.

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The acquisition once completed will bolster the company's efforts to apply advanced analytics and cognitive computing to help primary care providers, large hospital systems and physician networks improve healthcare quality and effect healthier patient outcomes.

Phytel will become part of IBM's new Watson Health unit. The acquisition is subject to regulatory review and is anticipated to close later this year.

Phytel develops and sells cloud-based services that help healthcare providers and care teams work together to ensure care is effective and coordinated in order to meet new healthcare quality requirements and reimbursement models.

It was just named the leader in the population health management category by the 2014 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Services. Population health management makes it possible to deliver proven quality of care to patients based on evidence of what works best, so physicians can deliver higher value.

IBM announced plans to acquire Explorys, a healthcare intelligence cloud company that has built one of the largest clinical data sets in the world, representing more than 50 million lives.

The acquisition strengthens IBM's leadership position in healthcare analytics and cloud computing, and will help bolster its ability to extract and share deep insights to improve wellness and benefit patients.

Since its spin-off from the Cleveland Clinic in 2009, Explorys has secured a robust healthcare database derived from numerous and diverse financial, operational and medical record systems comprising 315 billion longitudinal data points across the continuum of care.

This powerful body of insight will help fuel IBM Watson Health Cloud, a new open platform that allows information to be securely de-identified, shared and combined with a dynamic and constantly growing aggregated view of clinical, health and social research data.

Explorys provides secure cloud-based solutions for clinical integration, at-risk population management, cost of care measurement, and pay-for-performance. Headquartered in Cleveland, Explorys clients include some of the most prominent healthcare systems in the United States, together accounting for over $69 billion in care, 360 hospitals and more than 317,000 providers.

Explorys' HIPAA-enabled cloud-computing platform is used by 26 healthcare systems and clinically integrated networks to identify patterns in diseases, treatments and outcomes.

Its network includes Cleveland Clinic, Trinity Health, St. Joseph Health System, Mercy Health, Adventist Health System and many others with patients across the country. Market intelligence firm IDC just named Explorys global leader in Healthcare Clinical and Financial Analysis.

IBM is establishing a Watson Health Cloud that will provide a secure and open platform for physicians, researchers, insurers and companies focused on health and wellness solutions.

The HIPAA-enabled Watson Health Cloud will enable secure access to individualized insights and a more complete picture of the many factors that can affect people's health.

Extending the company's exclusive Watson cognitive computing platform, IBM is entering new partnerships with Apple, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic to help optimize consumer and medical devices for data collection, analysis and feedback, acquiring Explorys and Phytel to advance its healthcare analytics capabilities, and establishing a dedicated business unit – IBM Watson Health, to be headquartered in the Boston, Ma., area.

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