Microsoft moves further into healthcare with new partnership with Walgreens

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Microsoft is moving further into the healthcare space with a new partnership with the Walgreens Boots Alliance, the parent company of the Walgreens, Duane Reed and Boots pharmacy chains and the healthcare products company Alliance Healthcare.

The aim of the seven-year agreement between the companies, detailed in today's announcement, is to “develop new health care delivery models, technology and retail innovations to advance and improve the future of health care.”

Microsoft and the Walgreens Boots Alliance will work together on research and development to build new healthcare technologies and the two could even possibly operate joint R&D centres in the future.

Starting this year, Walgreens Boots Alliance will also pilot in-store digital health corners under its new partnership with Microsoft.

Countering Amazon

The deal is another example of Microsoft countering Amazon which has also moved into healthcare space recently through a partnership with JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to bring new healthcare solutions to all three companies' employees.

Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella appeared on CNBC alongside Wallgreens Boots Alliance's CEO Stefano Pessina and explained that discussions between the two companies started three years ago, saying:

“They went through a pretty rigorous process of really finding the right partner who can bring both world-class technology, but also that trust, in order to be able to help them build this ecosystem. Because ultimately, this is about broad partnerships that need to be harnessed by Walgreens in order to deliver the services that they are envisioning. They needed to find a partner who on the technology side has the capability to do that ecosystem orchestration and is trusted.” 

Walgreens Boots Alliance will also migrate the majority of its IT infrastructure to Microsoft's Azure cloud platform and will rollout Microsoft 365 across its global network of stores and 380,000 employees.

Via GeekWire