IBM is investigating the possibility of selling IBM Watson Health, its attempt to use artificial intelligence (AI) in the medical field.
IBM is moving swiftly toward its goal of splitting the company and focusing the core business on cloud computing. As a result, IBM has purchased a number of smaller startups aligned with that goal. Its latest move, however, appears to be an effort to trim dead weight, or a portion of the business that doesn’t line up with its long-term plans.
IBM had high hopes for IBM Watson Health and the promise of AI revolutionizing the medical profession. The company invested billions building out the solution, but it has ultimately proved a cautionary tale for companies investing in AI. Despite all of IBM’s efforts, the company had difficulty getting doctors and medical professionals to adopt it.
According to insiders who spoke with The Wall Street Journal, IBM is looking to sell the business to an industry player, private-equity firm or merge it with a blank-check company. The common theme is deep pockets.
IBM Watson Health clearly has potential, but it may have been a good idea before its time. It may take deep pockets to keep it going until the medical community warms to the idea of AI managing its data.