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IBM opens wallet for medical customers

Continuing its push into the life sciences market, IBM is expanding its financing business to help customers acquire medical technology. The company said on Monday that its Global Financing unit will offer specialized leasing and financing programs to customers in the health care, life sciences and pharmaceutical industries to help them acquire new or used medical technology or information technology. Eligible equipment under the plan includes computerized tomography scanners, X-ray machines and ultrasound devices. Big Blue said it would also help customers remarket their older medical devices.

In the past, IBM has focused on financing information technology products. Life sciences is seen as a fertile field for IT spending, as the amount of bioscience data increases rapidly. IBM's life sciences division, introduced in 2000, has grown from two employees to more than 1,000, according to the company.