Drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance and Microsoft said on Tuesday they have entered a seven-year agreement to research and develop new methods of delivering health care services through digital devices.
As a part of the deal, the companies will focus on virtually connecting people with Walgreens stores and provide services on therapeutic areas ranging from preventive self-care to chronic disease management.
Early last year, Amazon.com, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase said they will form a company that eventually could negotiate directly with drugmakers and health care providers and use their vast databases to get a better handle on costs.
Walgreens and Microsoft also will develop health care solutions to reduce emergency room visits and decrease hospital readmissions while lowering the cost of care, the companies said.
The drugstore chain said it will pilot up to 12 stores, which will sell select health care-related devices, in 2019.
Microsoft will become Walgreens’ cloud provider through the agreement and the Microsoft 365 software will be rolled out to more than 380,000 Walgreens employees and stores globally.