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With the sale of core parts of its Watson Health business, IBM is seeing its once-exciting entry point into the world of medicine slam shut. But for its buyer, the scraps could offer a shot at success where IBM failed.

A San Francisco-based private equity firm with a broad portfolio of health care investments will soon be the owner of some of the most comprehensive datasets in the industry, including the massive tranche of insurance claims data contained in MarketScan. Business analysts said the data dump instantly makes Francisco Partners a significant player in the multibillion-dollar business of buying and selling sensitive information about the care of patients.

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