Humana and Microsoft have announced the formation of a strategic partnership that will be focused on building modern health care solutions for Humana members and that will look to improve their health outcomes and make their “health care experiences simpler to navigate.”

The initial focus of the partnership will be to modernize Humana’s information technology platforms and to aggregate all of Humana’s data on Microsoft Azure. However, once that is completed, Humana intends to use Microsoft Azure and the capabilities of Microsoft’s artificial intelligence (AI) programs to develop predictive care solutions and provide better access to on-demand and virtual medical services.

The ultimate goal of the partnership is to deliver an integrated health care experience that provides effective, personalized patient care in a convenient and cost-effective manner.

In connection with the partnership, Microsoft and Humana plan to work on several technologies to improve the health care system, including:

  • The use of Microsoft Teams to allow physicians, Humana, and its members to centrally manage and securely share and review patient information and to communicate through voice and chat functions;
  • The creation of on-demand and virtual medical services;
  • The development and implementation of data analytics to provide more personalizes and coordinated patient care; and
  • The ability to instantly translate the many languages used in patient medical records and decipher the non-electronic (i.e., socioeconomic) parts of those records.

This deal, along with the previously announced partnership between Humana and Doctor On Demand, is part of an overall modernization process that is intended allow Humana to ready itself for the incoming wave of retiring baby boomers who will require a huge amount of resources from the health care system in the coming years by creating a platform that will more effectively centralize the location and improve the utilization of patient health information and enabling Humana to provide preventative and other types of health care services in non-traditional settings (i.e., outside of hospitals and physician offices).

For Microsoft, the partnership represents further investment into the healthcare industry, one of the fastest-growing and largest parts of the U.S. economy, and is an important step forward for the company as other technology and retail giants, such as Amazon, Apple, and Walmart, are attempting to enter the market.