10 August, 2015
What You Missed In Big Data: Vertical Focus
Vertical-specific use cases took on a new importance in the analytics world last week after IBM Corp. announced the acquisition of a medical imaging provider for a billion dollars to augment its Watson-based medical analytics service. The technology it’s gaining through Merge Healthcare Inc. will enable the cloud-based platform to tap the CAT scans, X-rays and the other diagnostic images that together constitute 90 percent of the data in hospitals.
The deal is the culmination of an intense effort to tap that information that has previously seen Big Blue acquire two smaller companies likewise specializing in managing medical files and partner with several more, most notably Johnson & Johnson’s healthcare technology business. The data from Merge, whose software is used at more than 7,500 care facilities in the U.S., will be fused with the assets from the other deals to facilitate unified analysis.
IBM hopes that enabling Watson to examine medical issues from multiple angles will make it possible to automate much of the tedious administrative currently involved in piecing together patient information and free up healthcare professionals to focus on more pressing matters. QASymphony Inc. also took it upon itself to realize that latter goal last week, but for an entirely different audience: developers.