Best Buy expands work in senior healthcare with $800M GreatCall acquisition

Best Buy signed a definitive agreement to purchase GreatCall, a provider of connected health and personal emergency response services targeting the senior population, for $800 million in cash Aug. 15.

In May, CNBC reported that the technology retailer wanted to build out its tech support services to keep its older customers healthy under its Best Buy 2020 strategy, which seeks to use technology to improve people's lives.

GreatCall has more than 900,000 paying subscribers using its services to stay independent longer. The company markets several mobile products and devices that connect the user to family caregivers, provide general concierge services, answer service-related questions and dispatch emergency personnel.

The acquisition of GreatCall is an extension of Best Buy's efforts in the health space. Best Buy has recently invested in various health technology startups, and its growing list of health- and wellness-related products feature services like medical alert systems.

GreatCall will maintain its San Diego headquarters and care centers in Carlsbad, Calif., and Reno, Nev. The company's CEO David Inns will keep his post.

"We know technology can improve the quality of life of the aging population and those who care for them," said Hubert Joly, chairman and CEO of Best Buy. "We look forward to working closely with David and his management team and are excited by the opportunities we have in the health space and the strengths we can bring to bear in this area, especially our experience with technology and serving customers in their home."

Amazon also has its sights set on the aging population. Since 2015, the e-commerce giant has been meeting with the AARP, a lobby that supports senior citizens in the U.S., to discuss various collaborations and shared research, and in April, CNBC revealed Vice President of Special Projects Babak Parviz, PhD, took a cross-country bus tour in the spring 2014 to learn how technology can assist seniors.

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