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Microsoft, Walgreens Partner to Improve Global Healthcare Delivery

Microsoft Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) are the two most recent companies to join forces to improve healthcare. The partnership plans to develop new healthcare delivery models, technology, and retail innovations. Both companies have committed to a multiyear R&D investment to build healthcare solutions, improve health outcomes, and lower the cost of care.

It will combine the power of Microsoft’s cloud and AI platform, known as Microsoft Azure, its healthcare investments and new retail solutions with WBA’s customer reach, convenient locations, and outpatient healthcare services. The goal is to make healthcare delivery more personal, affordable, and accessible not just for Americans, but for people around the world.

Through this agreement, Microsoft becomes WBA’s strategic cloud provider. The retailer plans to shift most of its IT infrastructure onto Microsoft Azure, and roll out Microsoft 365 to more than 380,000 employees and stores globally.

As part of the partnership, the companies will evaluate establishing joint innovation centers in key markets. They will focus on connecting WBA stores and health information systems to people wherever they are through their digital devices, thereby allowing people to access healthcare services, such as virtual care — when, where, and how they need it. In addition, Walgreens will pilot up to 12 store-in-store “digital health corners” aimed at the merchandising and sale of select healthcare-related hardware and devices.

“WBA will work with Microsoft to harness the information that exists between payors 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,” said Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and CEO of WBA.

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