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Blue Shield of California Collaborates with Microsoft to Reimagine Access to Quality Health Care with Connected Cloud Ecosystem

New scalable digital infrastructure to make health information actionable.

OAKLAND, Calif. (July 26, 2023) – Blue Shield of California and Microsoft are collaborating to enhance members’ ability to engage in their health care by building an ecosystem in the cloud that securely integrates relevant, authorized information from disparate sources of data.

Blue Shield is leveraging Microsoft’s scalable technology and processing power to derive insights faster to improve members’ access to affordable care in partnership with providers.

“Our goal is to create high-tech, high-touch experiences for our members that are holistic and personalized by removing longstanding silos and bringing together data in the cloud,” said Lisa Davis, executive vice president and chief information officer at Blue Shield of California. “Microsoft’s cloud technology can help Blue Shield better coordinate with providers to open up greater access to care and services for our members. When data is available in near real-time, it enables shared decision-making among members and providers to improve health outcomes and reduce the cost of care.”

The Experience Cube - a new integrated data hub

Blue Shield and Microsoft are building a new integrated data hub, Blue Shield’s Experience Cube, which runs on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Using Azure’s analytics and storage capabilities, the Experience Cube brings together authorized member, provider and payer data in a consolidated, near real-time view.

This will provide the nonprofit health plan with greater insights into health data to be able to create more personalized services to improve members’ access to quality care. Connected workflows and near real-time clinical data exchange will also help Blue Shield close care gaps for its members in partnership with providers.

The first use case for the Experience Cube will bring together disparate, authorized sources of information to create an integrated digital health record, which encompasses a member’s health conditions, lab results, medications, emergency room visits, utilization, plan coverage, and other critical elements of their health journey. The information brought together by the Experience Cube will facilitate more data-driven care coordination to recommend actions that help members through transitions of care or prompt Blue Shield care managers to create programs that connect members to resources that address social determinants of health.

Speed and scale in the cloud

Blue Shield and Microsoft are also addressing large computational challenges to process and analyze massive amounts of data to respond faster to new business and industry needs. Blue Shield has moved a large, automated software solution into Azure, allowing the health plan to process billions of transactions in a few short weeks – compared to the months it would have otherwise taken using legacy computing capabilities.

Leveraging expertise from Blue Shield and Microsoft, the nonprofit health plan has experienced significant improvements in delivering value to members. The deployment of a new instance of a core healthcare system into the cloud was accelerated by nine months. In another example, complex transaction processing was improved to 90 minutes from what previously took more than 70 hours.

This work has been a key part of Blue Shield’s overall cloud transformation journey – ensuring seamless access to critical services, facilitating faster data analysis and decision-making, and fostering trust among members, providers and Blue Shield. These advancements will also enable Blue Shield to make affordable and timely care more accessible.

“We were excited to collaborate with Blue Shield of California because of their innovative Health Reimagined vision and commitment to the health of their communities,” said Tyler Bryson, corporate vice president, U.S. Health & Public Sector Industries at Microsoft. “We are proud to serve as Blue Shield of California’s digital backbone and empower them to deliver exceptional member experiences, modernize operations, and foster more collaboration with providers to help members achieve their best possible health outcomes.”

Blue Shield’s multi-year cloud development plans with Microsoft include expanding the scope of the Experience Cube to incorporate additional clinical, care and case management, and cost of health care data, which will build a more complete picture of a member and their care needs. The two companies are also exploring new applications of artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies to derive insights for action, strengthen operations and break down data silos in health care by continuing to securely bring together health information.

About Blue Shield of California

Blue Shield of California strives to create a healthcare system worthy of its family and friends that is sustainably affordable. Blue Shield of California is a tax paying, nonprofit, independent member of the Blue Shield Association with 4.8 million members, over 7,500 employees and $24 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 in San Francisco and now headquartered in Oakland, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare healthcare service plans in California. The company has contributed more than $97 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation in the last three years to have an impact on California communities. For more news about Blue Shield of California, please visit Or follow us on LinkedInTwitter, or Facebook.