Why it matters: Microsoft was a bit vague in describing the specifics of its multi-year partnership with Walgreens but all that you really need to know is that it’s a huge data play. Given the recent string of data breaches, knowing that yet another set of eyes are on your data – health data, no less – may be unnerving for some.
Microsoft and Walgreens on Tuesday entered into a seven-year agreement in which the two aim to make health care more convenient to people through data-driven insights.
Microsoft will become the strategic cloud provider for Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), the holding company that owns Walgreens and other related pharmaceutical, manufacturing, wholesale and distribution companies. As such, WBA plans to move most of its IT infrastructure over to Microsoft Azure.
The partnership will also provide Microsoft 365 to more than 380,000 WBA employees and stores globally.
Microsoft’s stock is up nearly three percent on the day while WBA shares are trading up around 1.7 percent as of writing.
The two said they have also committed to a multi-year research and development investment to “build health care solutions, improve health outcomes and lower the cost of care.” Microsoft specifically mentioned connecting stores and health information systems to people through their mobile devices, allowing them to access things like virtual care when and where they need it.
Microsoft and WBA additionally hope to improve medication adherence, reduce emergency room visits and lower hospital readmissions. Data science and artificial intelligence will play a key role in achieving these goals, we’re told.
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