Microsoft is reportedly in advanced-level talks with health care artificial intelligence firm Nuance Commendations. The software giant is considering buying the Siri voice technology for as much as USD 16 billion. The company will use the technology of Nuance to help doctors better predict the needs of patients. According to people familiar with the development, if everything goes as planned, Microsoft may announce the deal within few days. At the price being discussed, the value of Nuance would be around USD 56 a share. If the deal is signed, it would be the largest acquisition by the software giant since if purchased LinkedIn.
Microsoft has been entering into the health care sector by selling more and more cloud software to doctors and hospitals. The company has been already working with Nuance for the past two years. They are working on artificial intelligence software. The software records discussions of patients and is then integrated into electronic health records. This combined with the speech technology products and used for telehealth appointments on to its Teams chat app. While reports suggest the deal may be finalized soon, neither Nuance nor Microsoft has confirmed the development. But looking at the history of these companies, experts believe that an official announcement could be just a matter of time.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said that Nuance CEO Mark Benjamin has taken several unprecedented strategic turnarounds and the company has a unique asset on the healthcare front for the software giant. Under the leadership of Benjamin, Nuance has narrowed its focus. The company sold its peripheral businesses like its automotive AI unit Cerence Inc and its imaging division. At the end of the fiscal year ending on September 30, Nuance had a net income of USD 91 million on revenue of USD 1.48 billion. Microsoft has been increasingly focusing on the healthcare segment and acquiring Nuance would help it expand the plans over the coming years.