United Healthcare and Microsoft form COVID-19 ProtectWell Program
… UnitedHealth Group Partners With Microsoft To Develop And Launch Employer COVID-19 Healthcare Program and Smartphone App …

UnitedHealth Group Partners With Microsoft

Leaders in Managed Care and Tech form ProtectWell collaboration

John G. Baresky

UnitedHealth Group (UHG) and Microsoft Corp. are developing and launching a “back-to-workplace” healthcare initiative called ProtectWell. It’s a formal plan and technology-driven solution for employers and their staff members. UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) are developing and launching a “back-to-workplace” healthcare initiative called ProtectWell. It’s a formal plan and technology-driven solution.

The goal is to offer an execution platform that helps employers minimize risk and maximize employee confidence as they return to their offices and other company facilities. Associates will be supported with the maximum steps necessary to assure their safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and can perform at a high level of productivity.

The ProtectWell program supports employees with information and guidance to reinforce workplace wellness. By implementing such measures, employees can readily focus on work and maintain a high level of safety for everyone. From implementation through daily use, the ProtectWell resources intend to serve as a routine process and not a distraction.

Starting with key elements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) business guidelines, UHG (NYSE: UNH) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) have constructed a workplace healthcare framework and mobile app for clients to follow in their workplace locations and share with their employees. It is a platform to orchestrate best practices as the nation progresses through the COVID-19 pandemic

The employer workplace guidance and information portion of the ProtectWell program features core directives to follow to reinforce health and safety measures to prevent the proliferation of COVID-19. They cover employee hygiene, social distancing, workspace and facility housekeeping plus other measures that can be customized according to the employer’s preferences and specific locations.

The ProtectWell mobile app blends UHC’s clinical and data analytic resources with Microsoft’s industry-leading technology including Microsoft Azure, AI and analytics solutions plus the Microsoft Healthcare Bot service. Unbeknownst to many, Microsoft has a wide array of successful healthcare artificial intelligence (AI) projects underway and the Microsoft Healthcare Bot is globally deployed as a technical instrument based on AI that supports COVID-19 symptom assessments plus research data modeling and trend assessment.

The ProtectWell mobile app is for daily individual use so workers can self-screen based on questions presented to them via smartphone. Their responses which will be associated with symptoms and other factors will dictate the next steps involved in the app delivered screening process. Depending on the user’s answers, the app can escalate measures so the employee is guided to seek further testing that can be facilitated by the employer and administered by UHG.

UHG is well established in large scale clinical program administration and is reportedly in talks to buy telehealth leader AbleTo which it can combine with its Vivify Health acquisition. Based on its experience and technology investments, UHG is well prepared to co-develop ProtectWell with Microsoft and successfully introduce it to employers.

The mobile app and its processes will follow all HIPAA requirements and other privacy standards. UHG will manage and fully shield user identity and other protected healthcare information (PHI). Microsoft will not be able to access any PHI details within the ProtectWell program. Any data that it uses to profile healthcare trends will be completely de-identified.

UHG and Microsoft likely have plans to compile insights on worker and workplace health and safety from the information. This data can be used to improve existing or develop new workplace wellness initiatives. Moving forward, the ProtectWell partnership is a solid foundation for UHG and Microsoft to explore further opportunities to combine their talent, strengths and resources to further business opportunities in healthcare.

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