Mark Benjamin will remain the chief executive officer of Nuance and will report to Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Cloud & AI at Microsoft, the company said. Nuance helped launch Apple Inc.’s assistant Siri and also makes software for businesses including automotive.
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The Microsoft-Nuance deal comes as both companies, which partnered in 2019 to automate clinical administrative work such as documentation, gain from a boom in telehealth services as medical consultations shifted online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Nuance provides the AI layer at the healthcare point of delivery,” Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said in a statement on Monday, adding that “AI is technology’s most important priority, and healthcare is its most urgent application”.
Microsoft’s offer of $56 per share represents a premium of 22.86% to Nuance’s last close. Shares of Nuance rose nearly 23% in pre-market trading.