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Whitepaper - The unstoppable shift of healthcare's front door

Dear Partner Community,


In the 21st century, people generally expect experiences to be convenient, straightforward, and secure. People want to access information and services digitally, on various devices, from anywhere at any time. According to a 2019 survey, 73% of consumers say when they create an account or make a transaction on a digital platform, they expect the process to happen instantaneously. During COVID, virtual access to goods and services became even more imperative. Furthermore, people want in-person interactions with businesses and government agencies to be streamlined, efficient, and trustworthy. From vacation rentals and entertainment streaming to banking and filing taxes, everybody expects ease and convenience.

These changing expectations have impacted every industry, but perhaps none as much as retail and healthcare. With retail, people expect to order online, get expedited shipping, and never encounter out-of-stocks. They want the flexibility to buy online and pick up in store, or return items via mail with no financial obligation. With healthcare, people are asking for more convenient access to care, either virtually at home or in-person near their home, with minimal administrative hurdles. Improved access to health services is particularly needed in low-income and rural areas that have historically lacked it. In addition to improved access, more comprehensive preventative health and wellness services are in higher demand, especially for those with chronic diseases. In both health and retail, people increasingly prefer personalized services, price transparency ahead of purchase, and of course affordability.

These rising expectations, coupled with historical lack of access for some populations, present a vital opportunity to deliver healthcare in new ways and at new locations. This has led to the convergence of retail and health, resetting the bounds of traditional healthcare.


This convergence will take forms we have yet to imagine. But currently, we’re seeing two key trends: retailers offering health services and traditional providers adopting more consumer-centric approaches. At Microsoft, we hope this consumerization of healthcare will expand access to convenient, cost-effective care and ultimately improve health outcomes for all. For retailers and providers, getting on board with this transformation will be necessary to meet consumer expectations and keep up with industry leaders. 


Read the full whitepaper here: Retail+Health Whitepaper (microsoft.com)