Boots & Microsoft partner to deliver high-tech healthcare services

Boots plastic bag
// Walgreens Boots Alliance has signed a 7-year partnership with Microsoft
// The pair will create new high-tech healthcare models aimed at improving healthcare while lowering cost
// It comes a week after Boots purchased tech firm Wiggly-Amps in a similar move

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Boots’ US-based parent company has joined forces with Microsoft to develop new healthcare technology and retail innovations in an effort to boost technological capabilities.

Walgreens Boots Alliance signed a seven-year partnership with Microsoft to create new health care delivery models, which will utilise the tech giant’s new retail solutions, AI platform and Microsoft’s cloud to improve “health outcomes while lowering the cost of care”.

It argues that current health care systems combine factors from public-sector, private-sector, providers, payers and pharmaceutical companies, making them complex and hard to manage.

The partnership aims to fully integrate all these factors and create “next-generation” health networks which simplify the process entirely, enabling people to access health care services like virtual care from anywhere.

By proactively engaging customers, the pair also hope to reduce emergency room visits and hospital re-admissions.

“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,” Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said.

“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.”

This follows news that Boots had recently acquired health technology firm Wiggly-Amps for an undisclosed sum, as the retailer aims to digitise its healthcare arm.

Following a challenging year for its retail arm, Boots’ new acquisition represents a concerted move to boost its pharmacy arm.

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