CVS Health Looks to Microsoft to Help Build Out Personalized Care Strategy
The early weather report notes that there will be a high UV index today. A short time later, consumers known to have a high risk for melanoma receive a mobile alert from the pharmacy reminding them to use sunscreen or to get a skin cancer screening.
The opt-in digital messaging is tied to an individual’s conditions and can provide reminders about medication adherence or other points to discuss with their pharmacist, or health products and services to consider. A new partnership between CVS Health and Microsoft is designed to facilitate this kind of personalized service leveraging CVS’ massive data from its base of roughly 100 million customers and health plan enrollees.
Speaking at the recent Forbes Healthcare Summit, CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella provided a broad outline of the five-year partnership designed to make care more personalized and affordable. CVS will tap into Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing, artificial intelligence and other technologies to speed its digital-first strategy. CVS will migrate 1,500 new and existing business applications onto Azure and work with Microsoft to build more consumer-facing health tools.
CVS already has used Azure to automate such tasks as deploying computer vision and text analytics to help digitize intake for specialty pharmacy when prescriptions arrive by paper or fax, making it more efficient and quicker to fill orders. CVS will work with Microsoft to find more ways to streamline processes. CVS will use Microsoft products like Teams for videoconferencing and Microsoft Office.
The partnership also supports CVS’ rapidly evolving health care strategy. The company last month said it plans to close 900 stores over the next three years as it reevaluates its in-person retail strategy as more consumers make digital purchases. Meanwhile, CVS’ retail health clinics have been gaining traction, reporting a 600% surge between 2019 and 2020 via telehealth and a sharp rise in home prescription delivery.