Best Buy tests remote home monitoring services for seniors

Julie Spitzer - Print  | 

Technology retailer Best Buy wants to build onto its tech support services by keeping its older customers healthy, and it is beginning with a new pilot service called Assured Living, according to CNBC.

Although Best Buy is often tied to televisions and computers, it told investors on its most recent earnings call that it is exploring health tools as part of its strategy to address "key human needs in areas such as entertainment, productivity, communication, food preparation, security, and health and wellness."

"We already assort a variety of health-related products and technology products designed for seniors like specially designed phones and medical alert systems," CEO Hubert Joly said, according to CNBC. "One of the things we've talked about is how technology can help people stay in their home for longer and there's a lot of excitement around helping people do that. … [Technology] improves people's health and wellness and reduce[s] healthcare costs for the country."

Assured Living aims to help "the aging population stay healthy at home with assistance from technology products and services," Mr. Joly added.

The company also knows health technology is ripe with competition, with Apple advancing health features on its smartwatch and Amazon exploring various health applications. Instead of approaching health tech as a profit driver, Best Buy is focusing on innovation.

"We're not trying to increase the profitability, because we are trying to position the company for the future," Mr. Joly said. "The return[s] for the winners in this space are going to be outsized because there's going to be greater and greater differentiation between winners and losers. And so this is the time clearly to invest."

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