Walgreens Boots Alliance, Microsoft forms partnership to transform healthcare

Deerfield and Redmond, USA: Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), a global pharmacy-led, health and well-being enterprise and Microsoft have joined hands to develop new healthcare delivery models, technology and retail innovations to improve the future of healthcare.

As part of the strategic partnership, both the companies have committed to a multiyear research and development (R&D) investment to build health care solutions, improve health outcomes and lower the cost of care. This investment will include funding, subject-matter experts, technology and tools.

Both the companies will also explore the potential to establish joint innovation centers in key markets. Additionally, in 2019 WBA will pilot up to 12 store-in-store “digital health corners” aimed at the merchandising and sale of select health care-related hardware and devices.

Under the partnership, Microsoft has become WBA’s strategic cloud partner and will leverage Azure cloud and other technologies. WBA plans to migrate the majority of the company’s IT infrastructure onto Microsoft Azure.

This will include new transformational platforms in retail, pharmacy and business services, new capability in data and analytics, as well as certain legacy applications and systems. It also plans to roll out Microsoft 365 to more than 380,000 employees and stores globally, empowering them with the tools for increased productivity, advanced security, internal collaboration and customer engagement.

Through this strategic partnership, the companies will deliver innovative platforms that enable next-generation health networks, integrated digital-physical experiences and care management solutions.

“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, 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.”

“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,” said Stefano Pessina, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO – WBA.

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