Microsoft is inking a new cloud deal with Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), the leading pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise, to advance and improve the future of health care.
Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, US, WBA is the largest retail pharmacy, health and daily living destination across the US and Europe. The company has more than 18,500 stores in 11 countries, with over 390 distribution centers which delivers to more than 230,000 pharmacies, doctors, health centers and hospitals.
The partnership between Microsoft and WBA will bring together their expertise in technology and health care to develop new healthcare delivery models, technology and retail innovations.
Microsoft will bring its Azure cloud, health care investments and new retail solutions to the table. Whereas, Walgreens Boots Alliance will bring its customer reach, convenient locations, healthcare services and industry expertise. Together, the companies will make health care delivery more personal, affordable and accessible to more people globally.
“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.”
WBA has now chosen Azure as its preferred cloud, and will roll out Microsoft 365 to over 380,000 employees and stores around the world.
Taking about the deal, it is a seven-year research and development (R&D) agreement, which will include investment (funding, technology, tools, and subject-matter) from both companies.
People will be able to connect to WBA stores and health information systems right from their digital devices, so that they can access health care services whenever and wherever they need it. This will result in improved medication adherence, reduced emergency room visits, and decreased hospital readmissions.
“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 and chief executive officer of WBA.
“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.”