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Microsoft to digitize CVS Health operations, improve health access for customers

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | December 14, 2021
Artificial Intelligence Health IT
Microsoft has agreed to digitalize CVS Health operations
Microsoft Corp. will help CVS Health further digitalize its operations to better serve its customers and develop solutions that help consumers improve their health, as part of a new five-year partnership.

Leveraging Microsoft’s technology, the two will create more “customized health recommendations” for customers, such as mobile alerts for cancer screenings or reminders for people at risk for melanoma to buy sunscreen. They will utilize data science, the cloud and machine learning to improve access to care, as well as digitalize CVS services and automate administrative processes to help employees complete their jobs faster and more efficiently, according to Forbes.

For instance, CVS Health plans to add advanced machine learning models running on Microsoft’s cloud computing service, Azure, to scale-up retail loyalty and personalization programs. To do this and make other significant improvements, the company will use massive data that CVS has from its tens of millions of customers and health plan enrollees.

“It’s really about that mobility; about having your health information available at your fingertips and allowing us as a company to be a part of your digital health,” CVS Health chief executive Karen Lynch told Forbes.

Azure will help expand CVS Health’s multi-cloud presence to over 1,500 new and existing business applications in Azure cloud.

With the software’s cognitive services like Computer Vision and Text Analytics, CVS Health will be able to digitize intake services including the 40% of prescriptions mailed or faxed in to help technicians fill prescriptions faster and easier. It will also automate and simplify processes, as part of CVS Health’s technology-driven digitalization program. These changes may help patients adhere to medication, as they are prone to forget to take their prescriptions or do not take them regularly.

Additionally, with Microsoft Teams and Office products, retail employees are expected to have better access to information to answer common questions and help customers faster. Microsoft will also provide its HoloLens, Dynamics 365 Guides and Remote Assist technologies to simplify complex procedures with intuitive tools to support CVS Health employees. Its Azure AI and cognitive capabilities will help automate administrative and predictive processes to reduce waste.

“With the Azure platform and its AI capabilities, we will combine the power of data, the expansive reach of CVS Health’s world-class solutions and Microsoft Teams to connect healthcare experts and create customized care and services that enable people to live healthier lives,” said Judson Althoff, Microsoft’s chief commercial officer, in a statement.

CVS has engaged in other activities to expand its digital presence and services. Back in August, it started Aetna Virtual Primary Care, the first solution in the U.S. to offer patients virtual access to primary care anytime and from anywhere. The solution helps overcome barriers to healthcare access by connecting eligible Aetna members with physicians both remotely and in person.

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