Editor’s note: John Caucis is a Senior Analyst at Technology Business Research.

HAMPTON, N.H. – IBM’s Head of Watson Health, Deborah DiSanzo, suddenly departed her position in late October, marking the latest in a series of negative developments in IBM’s increasingly maligned Watson Health organization.

Reports in the immediate aftermath of DiSanzo’s exit did not provide meaningful insight into the circumstances of her departure, further fueling speculation about widespread internal unrest in Watson Health that arose during 1H18 following the reports of layoffs across the U.S.-based operations of IBM’s cognitive healthcare unit.

TBR estimates that IBM’s HITS revenue expanded 1.7% year-to-year in 4Q18, with IBM indicating modest growth across the payer, provider (particularly the emerging imaging solutions area), life sciences and government sectors.

In TBR’s 4Q18 IBM Healthcare IT Services (HITS) Initial Response, we will provide in-depth analysis on key developments during the quarter, such as the growing need for IBM to conduct a comprehensive review of its Watson Health strategy to revive HITS growth, as well as IBM’s recent alliance with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce and Oracle to enhance interoperability across disparate health IT infrastructures.

[The news was among IBM’s quarterly earnings results disclosed Tuesday. Earnings and revenue as well as earnings forecast all topped analysts’ expectations. Earnings hit $4.87, 3 cents higher than expected, but they were down 5 percent year over year.

[Revenue came in at $21.8 billion, $5 million more than estimates.

[Earnings for 2019 were forecast at $13.90 per share, 6 cents higher than forecast. The earnings expectations do not include any impact from IBM’s merger with Raleigh-based Red Hat. The news helped drive IBM shares up 6 percent ahead of Wednesday’s market open.]

Inside IBM earnings: Global Business, Technology Services help Big Blue beat Street