IBM is looking at alternative prospects for those semi-creepy Watson robot-voice commercials which could include a sale to a private-equity firm or a merger with a blank-check company. The entire unit, which utilizes AI to assist hospitals, insurers and drug makers in overseeing their data, has roughly $1 billion in annual revenue and isn’t currently profitable.
Its brands include Merge Healthcare, which analyzes mammograms and MRIs; Phytel, which assists with patient communications; and Truven Health Analytics, which analyzes complex healthcare data. It isn’t clear how much the business might fetch in a sale. Heck, there may not even be one in the works yet.
IBM, with a market value of $108 billion, has been left in the dust as cloud-computing competitors Microsoft [$MSFT] and Amazon [$AMZN] climb to valuations more than 10 times greater. The company has said it’s focused on boosting its hybrid-cloud operations while exiting some unrelated businesses.