Microsoft is acquiring Nuance in a deal worth some $19.7 billion, Microsoft’s second-largest acquisition, in a bid for the healthcare cloud market.
Microsoft has been working for some time to provide industry-specific cloud options. Healthcare is a one of the big industries the companies is focusing on, with its Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare that was introduced last year.
Nuance is a company specializing in “conversational AI and cloud-based ambient clinical intelligence for healthcare providers.” The company’s PowerScribe One and Dragon line of software is used by a majority of US hospitals, doctors and radiologists.
“Nuance provides the AI layer at the healthcare point of delivery and is a pioneer in the real-world application of enterprise AI,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “AI is technology’s most important priority, and healthcare is its most urgent application. Together, with our partner ecosystem, we will put advanced AI solutions into the hands of professionals everywhere to drive better decision-making and create more meaningful connections, as we accelerate growth of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare and Nuance.”
“Over the past three years, Nuance has streamlined its portfolio to focus on the healthcare and enterprise AI segments, where there has been accelerated demand for advanced conversational AI and ambient solutions,” said Mark Benjamin, CEO, Nuance. “To seize this opportunity, we need the right platform to bring focus and global scale to our customers and partners to enable more personal, affordable and effective connections to people and care. The path forward is clearly with Microsoft — who brings intelligent cloud-based services at scale and who shares our passion for the ways technology can make a difference. At the same time, this combination offers a critical opportunity to deliver meaningful and certain value to our shareholders who have driven and supported us on this journey.”
The acquisition is an all-cash deal, has been unanimously approved by both companies’ boards and is expected to close by the end of the year.