Walgreens, Microsoft partner for new cloud-based consumer health initiative

Walgreens Boots Alliance and Microsoft are partnering for a undertaking they are saying will lead new supply fashions and know-how for consumer health – and can supply new competitors as firms similar to Amazon proceed to make inroads within the healthcare area

The collaboration will likely be primarily based round Microsoft’s Azure cloud and synthetic intelligence platoform, and can take form via numerous new investments and retail improvements for entry to outpatient healthcare, the businesses say.

The partnership between Microsoft and WBA has many sides. It will allow shoppers to entry health providers and digital care by way of their smartphones. It will deal with AI-powered knowledge analytics for inhabitants health and the enlargement of entry into extra community-based places. It will deal with partaking with supplier organizations to assist enhance treatment adherence, scale back visits to the ER and decrease hospital readmissions.

Microsoft’s Azure platform – onto which Walgreens will migrate most of its IT infrastructure –will assist with managing privateness and consent, the businesses say, and can allow extra customized care experiences from preventative self-care to persistent illness administration. WBA will leverage the cloud for wellness and life-style administration applications delivered by way of digital purposes, and the businesses plan to co-develop different apps and IoT units for persistent care administration and affected person engagement.

The firms say they will even be working to construct out a collaborative ecosystem of payers, suppliers and pharmaceutical producers to assist with the event of new pop health methods and applied sciences.

This collaboration is simply the most recent signal that the consumerization of healthcare – and the pattern of care supply being reshaped by historically consumer-facing firms – is right here to remain. The previous 12 months has seen main new partnerships and realignments – CVS Health’s acquisition of Aetna, Amazon’s alliance with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, the interoperability initiative launched by Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce – that promise to alter the best way healthcare operates within the U.S.

Whether they’re altering the dimensions and attain of know-how distributors, or the operational methods of extra conventional suppliers and payers, these new collaborations level to a new regular for healthcare within the age of the consumer.

“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,” mentioned Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “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.”

Stefano Pessina, govt vice chairman and chief govt officer of WBA, added that the partnership, targeted on “integrated, next-generation, digitally enabled healthcare delivery,” will assist “harness the information that exists between payers 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.”

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the author: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

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