Walgreens partners with Microsoft to digitally disrupt health care delivery

By Laura Mullan
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has inked a seven-year deal with Microsoft Corp. to build new healthcare solutions, improve health outcomes and lower the...

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has inked a seven-year deal with Microsoft Corp. to build new healthcare solutions, improve health outcomes and lower the cost of care.

As part of the partnership, the companies have committed to a multi-year research and development (R&D) investment which aims to enable "more personalised healthcare experiences from preventative self-care to chronic disease management.”

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“Improving health outcomes while lowering the cost of care is a complex challenge that requires broad collaboration and strong partnership between the health care and tech industries,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

“Together with Walgreens Boots Alliance, we aim to deliver on this promise by putting people at the center of their health and wellness, combining the power of the Azure cloud and AI technology and Microsoft 365 with Walgreens Boots Alliance’s deep expertise and commitment to helping communities around the world lead healthier and happier lives.”

Under the partnership, the companies will be able to tap into Microsoft’s cloud and AI platform, Microsoft Azure, as well as its healthcare agreements and retail solutions.

Walgreens — the second-largest pharmacy chain in the US — says says it “plans to migrate the majority of the company’s IT infrastructure into Microsoft Azure,” according to the press release.

The company also intends to roll out Microsoft 365 to more than 380,000 employees and stores globally.

Together, Walgreens and Microsoft will also pilot 12 in-store “digital corners” which will introduce customers to healthcare devices and hardware.

Through the strategic agreement, the companies will also explore the potential of joint innovation centres in key markets.

“Our strategic partnership with Microsoft demonstrates our strong commitment to creating integrated, next-generation, digitally enabled health care delivery solutions for our customers, transforming our stores into modern neighborhood health destinations and expanding customer offerings,” added Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and CEO of Walgreens.

“WBA will work with Microsoft to harness the information that exists between payors and health care providers to leverage, in the interest of patients and with their consent, our extraordinary network of accessible and convenient locations to deliver new innovations, greater value and better health outcomes in health care systems across the world.”

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