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Microsoft is acquiring Nuance for $19.7 billion

Announced on Monday, the purchase of the health care AI company is another sign that Microsoft is betting its future on industry-specific products.

Nuance specializes in conversational AI that can automatically transfer patient information gathered from discussions in the exam room to electronic medical record systems, ultimately cutting down the administrative burden for doctors. It's used in 77% of U.S. hospitals, per Nuance. The company's CEO, Mark Benjamin, will report to Microsoft cloud and AI head Scott Guthrie.

Microsoft estimates the purchase will increase its potential sales in the health care industry to $500 billion. The company previously announced a partnership with Nuance in 2019 to run its systems on Azure.

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