Making good on predictions that it will keep investing in healthcare, from devices to analytics, Best Buy is acquiring U.K.-based tech firm Current Health, whose platform provides “continuous, passive monitoring of vital signs” via wearables and connected devices.
It’s the latest move into telehealth for Best Buy, building on prior acquisitions including GreatCall, creator of the Jitterbug mobile phone and Lively wearables for seniors, and Critical Signals Technologies, a remote patient monitoring platform.
In a statement, Best Buy Health President Deborah DiSanzo said, “The future of consumer technology is directly connected to the future of healthcare. We have the distinct expertise in helping customers make technology work for them directly in their homes and by combining Current Health’s remote care management platform with our existing health products and services, we can create a holistic care ecosystem that shows up for someone across all of their healthcare needs.”
As CNBC reported, “Best Buy is pushing further into healthcare — a sector that CEO Corie Barry frequently describes as a growth opportunity. She has pointed to several trends that work in the retailer’s favor, such as the desire of many baby boomers to age at home, the healthcare industry’s need to manage costs and the popularity of watches and other tech that tracks people’s health.”
A New Strategy Pays Off
Best Buy’s focus on customer-centricity and innovation is widely credited with saving the consumer electronics chain from the fate of competitors like Circuit City and many more that were once fixtures of the American retail landscape.
By continuing to push into connected home services like the Current Health vital signs monitoring platform, the chain is placing itself at the nexus of the telehealth revolution.
In the announcement, Current Health CEO Christopher McCann said, “Over the coming decade, significantly more healthcare can be delivered in the home. We started Current Health to make that exciting transition radically easier for healthcare providers to achieve. Best Buy has unparalleled physical reach, world-class supply chain logistics and trusted support services – allowing us to provide a high-touch consumer experience, at scale. We’re excited to join with Best Buy Health to move safe and effective healthcare into the home globally.”
Best Buy’s acquisition of Current Health is the latest in a series of similar deals by other large retailers that recognize the opportunities in an aging baby boomer population, plus the ease of telehealth to connect patients and providers to at-home setting in the pandemic’s wake.
Baby Boomers, Older Millennials Connect for Health
PYMNTS research finds a growing demand for telehealth and telemedicine services that can be accessed at home, reducing the inconvenience and costs associated with office visits.
In the recent PYMNTS study “Generation HealthTech: How Digital Tools Amplify Millennial Patient Loyalty,” a Rectangle Health collaboration, researchers found that “44% of older millennials are already struggling with chronic ailments, meaning medical care services must discover the digital healthcare management options that matter most to this generation and learn how to leverage them to drive millennial engagement.”
Whether for millennials or the baby boomers who preceded them, connected home healthcare is poised for ongoing growth as remote care and telehealth interactions become more common.
In its statement on the Current Health acquisition, Best Buy said, “The company integrates patient-reported data with data from biosensors – including their own continuous monitoring wearable device – to provide healthcare organizations with actionable, real-time insights into the patient’s condition. Leveraging clinical algorithms that can be tailored to the individual patient, Current Health identifies when a patient needs clinical attention, allowing organizations to manage patient care remotely or coordinate in-home care via its integrated service partners.”