CVS and Microsoft Partner on Digital-First Care

CVS Health is wasting little time with its transformation into an “integrated health solutions company.” Less than a month after unveiling its omnichannel strategy, CVS announced a new five-year strategic partnership with Microsoft focused on digital health and personalized care.

The partnership is centered on leveraging Microsoft’s computing capabilities to unlock value from CVS’ treasure trove of patient and consumer data. CVS is in a unique position to know a patient’s provider choices (through its Aetna payor arm), medication history (through CVS pharmacy), and even shopping habits (through its retail stores).

Now, the company has enlisted Microsoft to tie it all together, with key goals of:

  • Customizing care by combining information from across the company to deliver customized health recommendations while scaling loyalty and personalization programs.
  • Enabling front line workers through the use of Microsoft Teams and Office products, allowing retail employees to quickly consume information and solve customer needs.
  • Digitizing operations through Azure’s cognitive services like computer vision and text analytics to automate tasks such as pharmacy intake.
  • Expanding cloud services by migrating applications currently running on on-site servers to Azure, giving CVS access to over 1,500 new business apps.

The Takeaway

The partnership announcement adds color to the picture of what CVS’ transformation from a local pharmacy to a healthcare destination might look like.

Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure enables CVS to take a more proactive approach to its services, including preventative health recommendations, like when a patient is due for a screening, or automated reminders to pick up sunscreen if a customer has an increased risk of melanoma.

CVS has millions of customers between its retail operations and health plan enrollees, and this partnership allows it to use this data to reach people ”with the right services, through the right channels, at the right time.”

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-- The Digital Health Wire team