Walgreens, Microsoft Establish Strategic Partnership

Walgreens Boots Alliance and Microsoft Corp. have joined forces to develop new health care delivery models, technology and retail innovations to advance and improve the future of health care, the companies said.

The companies will combine the power of Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud and AI platform, health care investments, and new retail solutions with Walgreens’ customer reach, locations, outpatient health care services and industry expertise with the goal to make health care delivery more personal, affordable and accessible.

As part of the strategic partnership, the companies have committed to a multi-year research and development 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. The companies will also explore the potential to establish joint innovation centers in key markets. Additionally, in 2019 Walgreens 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.

“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 CEO of Walgreens Boots. “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.”