Microsoft, UnitedHealth Launch Back-to-Work Covid-19 Screening App


Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) have teamed up to roll out an everyday free screening app for coronavirus symptoms as more and more employers are planning to reopen their businesses and are subject to stringent health requirements.

Th app, also known as ProtectWell, allows employers to offer workers a simple screening tool designed for everyday use. The smartphone app includes an AI-powered health care bot that asks users a series of questions to screen for Covid-19 symptoms or exposure. If risk of infection is indicated, employers can direct their employees to a streamlined Covid-19 testing process that enables closed-loop ordering and reporting of test results directly back to employers.

“As businesses begin to reopen, employers will need to monitor and manage their workforce for Covid-19 symptoms to help ensure those at risk of spreading the virus stay home until cleared by medical providers,” said Judson Althoff, Microsoft’s executive vice president of worldwide commercial business.

The screening app uses the clinical and data analytics of UnitedHealth combined with Microsoft’s artificial intelligence and analytics capabilities. The smartphone app, which will be powered by Microsoft Azure, will be available to all U.S. employers at no charge. Microsoft said it plans to deploy ProtectWell for its U.S.-based employees.

For privacy protection, UnitedHealth will maintain control over protected health care data and will manage opt-in and consent requirements needed from app users. Microsoft will not have access to identifiable information shared via the app.

Shares in Microsoft have soared 35% in the past two months and were trading at $183.16 on Friday. UnitedHealth shares have recovered after declining to a multi-year low on March 23 and are now trading around their start-of-year level at $290.96.

Five-star analyst Keith Weiss at Morgan Stanley reiterated the Buy rating on Microsoft’s stock with a $198 price target, saying that he forecasts the company to generate double-digit top-line growth in the near term.

“Based on the focus from senior management and strong secular tailwinds behind Security spending, we expect these installed base and data advantages to lead Microsoft into new markets like DevSecOps, IoT Security, and Data Privacy,” Weiss wrote in a report to investors.

TipRanks data shows that overall Wall Street analysts are almost unanimously bullish on Microsoft’s stock. Twenty-two out of the 23 analysts have Buy ratings and 1 has a Hold rating adding up to a Strong Buy consensus. The $198.67 average price target provides investors with 8.5% upside potential in the shares in the coming 12 months. (See Microsoft stock analysis on TipRanks).

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