IBM expands financing arm to life sciences

IBM is expanding its IT financing business into health care, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, the company announced Monday at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting in Chicago.

IBM Global Financing is "locked and loaded and ready to go," offering financing for health care and life sciences organizations to buy or lease new or used IT and IT-related medical equipment, said Terry Trierweiler, global financing business development executive.

Such financing is available now in the U.S. to both new and existing customers, and will be expanded to Canada in the next few weeks, followed by other countries over time, she said. At first, global financing will focus on hospitals as a customer base and then will expand to life sciences, pharmaceutical and biotechnology customers, including those involved in research and development and academia.

"One thing we looked at very closely was the convergence of IT technology with medical technology and we noticed that the boundaries are getting blurred," she said. "It's really like a continuum of technology because in medical technology these days it's so computerized and digitized."

The IBM Global Financing sales force won't make specific recommendations about which manufacturers of medical equipment customers should choose. But financing is available to cover medical technology equipment such as computerized tomography scanners, X-ray machines, ultrasound devices and the like. IBM's hardware, software and services also can be financed. Besides new equipment, financing is available for used equipment and lease options also are available.

"They may want to mix and match the types of equipment they would purchase or lease," Trierweiler said.

IBM Global Financing representatives can help customers dispose of equipment they no longer want or track down used equipment, said Mike Falco, medical equipment sales executive with global financing.

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