Microsoft is buying out Nuance which is an AI and speech recognition company. Including net debt, the all-cash transaction is valued at $19.7 billion.

The deal comes as both companies, which partnered in 2019 to automate clinical administrative work such as documentation, gain from a boom in telehealth services with medical consultations shifting online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nuance provides the AI layer at the healthcare point of delivery,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement, adding “AI is technology’s most important priority, and healthcare is its most urgent application.”

Most likely Microsoft wanted the patents for their intellectual property portfolio. Nadella said the company would continue as a Microsoft subsidiary.

Apple and Microsoft have both worked extensively in health. Apple has used Nuance to improve Siri which is used with their Home Kit hardware and applications. Microsoft abandoned their arm band product due to competition at the low end of the market.

Apple is has focused more on health recently with the Apple Watch series 6 which has extensive improvements in functionality. Apple Health first appeared with iOS 8.01 several years ago but one Apple started offering smart watches it was realized that more could be done.


First launched alongside watchOS 4.1 in October 2017, GymKit is a platform that enables bidirectional sync between Watches and compatible cardio machines. That might seem redundant, but in practice it’s an acknowledgement of the limitations of indoor workout tracking.

On your Apple Watch, tap Workout, then turn on Detect Gym Equipment. If Detect Gym Equipment is off in Settings on your Apple Watch, open the Workout app , then hold your Apple Watch near the contactless reader on the gym equipment, with the display facing the reader.

Press Start on the gym equipment to begin. Press Stop on the equipment to end the workout. When you end your workout, data from the equipment appears in the workout summary in the Activity app on your Apple Watch and the Fitness app on iPhone.