IBM is paying $2.6 billion to buy Truven Health Analytics and bolster the health care capabilities of its Watson cognitive computing system.
The Armonk, New York, company says the deal will bring in more than 8,500 clients and allow it to house health-related data representing an aggregate of about 300 million patient lives.
Watson uses machine-learning and natural-language skills to analyze and find trends in data from a wide variety of sources. IBM has been promoting Watson and related technology as a powerful tool that also can be used in retailing and other industries.
The deal for privately held Truven Health will be IBM's fourth health-related acquisition since launching its Watson Health cloud computing platform last April.
The company expects the deal to close later this year.