Walgreens partners with Microsoft to develop new healthcare delivery models

Walgreens Boots Alliance and Microsoft signed a seven-year deal Jan. 15 "to develop new healthcare delivery models, technology and retail innovations to advance and improve the future of healthcare."

As part of the deal, more than 380,000 Walgreens employees will use Microsoft 365 cloud apps, including Office 365, Windows 10, and mobility and security tools, according to CNBC. Walgreens will also move most of its IT workloads to Microsoft's public cloud, Azure, and will leverage Microsoft's AI platform, healthcare investments and retail solutions.

With Microsoft's help, Walgreens will also test out "digital health corners" in some of its stores, which are "aimed at the merchandising and sale of select healthcare-related hardware and devices," according to a news release announcing the partnership. The two will also collaborate on software research and development for technology solutions that would better manage patient engagement and chronic disease.

The companies plan to work together to "build a seamless ecosystem of participating organizations to better connect consumers, providers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and payers," according to the news release. The partnership's overarching goal is to lower healthcare costs and improve access to personal, affordable care.

"Our strategic partnership with Microsoft demonstrates our strong commitment to creating integrated, next-generation, digitally enabled healthcare delivery solutions for our customers, transforming our stores into modern neighborhood health destinations and expanding customer offerings," said WBA CEO and Executive Vice Chairman Stefano Pessina.

"WBA will work with Microsoft to harness the information that exists between payers and healthcare 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 healthcare systems across the world," he added.

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