Although Best Buy is primarily known for selling technology, the retailer is looking to expand in other areas. Specifically, their focus is the senior healthcare industry and while their interest in this area is no surprise, their recent action should have the nay-sayers believing Best Buy means business. The company has announced their acquisition of GreatCall as the continue to expand their work in senior healthcare.
GreatCall Acquisition a Step in the Right Direction
Considering that Best Buy had several months ago made their intentions known about wanting to keep their older customers healthy, the latest news about the retailer’s purchase makes sense. Writer Julie Spitzer of the Beckers Hospital Review shared the news that Best Buy inked a definitive agreement to buy GreatCall for eight-hundred million dollars on August 15th; they are widely known as a provider that targets the senior population for connected health as well as personal emergency response services.
CNBC had reported in May that the tech retailer desired to build out its services for tech support to assist their older customers in remaining healthy under what they call its Best Buy 2020 Strategy; the goal is to improve people’s lives by utilizing technology. Previously, GreatCall had been acquired back in June of 2017 by a private equity firm known as GTCR for an amount that was undisclosed. Now, GTCR has sold the company of which has approximately a million paying subscribers to Best Buy; they are based in Minneapolis.
Retail Giants are Becoming Active in Healthcare
While the move may have surprised some people, timing is everything as the purchase comes during a time where giants of retail are becoming increasingly active within the healthcare industry. Walmart, a rival of Best Buy, filed a patent two months ago in protecting their method of accessing data of patients from wearables and EHRs using blockchain. Meanwhile, it was leaked last week that Amazon is creating for its employees based in Seattle primary care clinics.
Hubert Joly, who is the CEO and chairman of Best Buy, said that we know technology can improve the quality of life of the aging population and those who care for them. 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.
GreatCall is supposed to maintain its headquarters in San Diego and care centers located in Reno, Nevada and Carlsbad, California. David Inns, the company’s CEO, has been reported that he will hold on to his post. Inns stated that since the launch of GreatCall, we’ve focused on providing technology and services to the aging population, giving them and their families the peace of mind that comes with technology and support to help keep them safe and improve their lives. By joining forces, we can do even more for this population, combining our products, services and expertise with Best Buy’s customer focus and scale to expand our reach.
Something to keep in mind is that Amazon not only has set their sights on the senior population but has been active for the past three years. The e-commerce giant has since 2015 been talking with AARP, the well-known lobby that supports senior citizens within the United States, in discussing shared research and proposing a variety of collaborations to work together on.
Also, it was revealed by CNBC back in April that Vice President of Special Projects Babak Parviz, PhD, went on a cross-country tour by bus to become educated in how technology could help seniors back in the spring of 2014.