Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) has struck a deal to acquire Current Health, gaining further clout in how care and services are delivered to older adults in the United States.
Richfield, Minnesota-based Best Buy announced the deal on Tuesday, but did not disclose the acquisition price.
“Over the coming decade, significantly more health care can be delivered in the home. We started Current Health to make that exciting transition radically easier for health care providers to achieve,” stated Christopher McCann, CEO of Current Health, in a press release.
Specifically, Current Health utilizes biosensor technology and patient-reported data to generate “actionable, real-time insights into the patient’s condition.” The company’s platform enables telehealth and includes patient engagement tools and other features to support at-home care.
The company has grown more than 3,000% since the beginning of 2020 and raised $43 million in a Series B earlier this year, Home Health Care news reported. Several major health systems, including UMass Memorial Health, have tapped the company to support hospital-at-home efforts.
Current Health and Best Buy share “a similar vision for the future of health care as well as a common understanding of the challenges of making the home a primary site of care,” McCann wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.
Best Buy’s strategy and growing influence in senior care have implications for senior living providers. Already, some providers — including large companies such as Holiday Retirement — utilize GreatCall technology such as mobile phones designed for older adults. Best Buy acquired GreatCall for $800 million in 2018.
Bigger-picture, Best Buy’s focus on home-based care may present a threat to senior living providers, insofar as the company is enabling people to more easily live outside of communal settings. But Best Buy’s strategy might also result in opportunities for providers, insofar as the company’s products and services can be productively leveraged within senior living settings.
Best Buy’s growth in the health care sector also is part of a larger trend of retail and technology companies making plays in this space. But while companies such as Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) are also pursuing health care strategies, Best Buy is uniquely focused on the older adult population, Morgan Stanley analysts observed in 2019.
And the Best Buy strategy centered on more at-home care, for people in general and older adults in particular, may have gained greater traction due to Covid-19.
“The pandemic has only served to underscore our purpose and strategy,” Best Buy CEO Cori Barrie said during the company’s Q4 2020 earnings call. “The adoption of virtual care and telehealth by patients and physicians has been greatly accelerated by Covid-19 and is expected to continue to grow.”
McCann made a similar point in his blog post on Tuesday.
“Among the many innovations we’ve seen in the global Covid response — from vaccine development to the incredible efforts of healthcare providers to adjust their delivery models — it has been clearly demonstrated that we can deliver far more health care in the home than ever thought possible,” he wrote. “As the CEO of a company founded with the mission of bringing more health care into the home, it has been a privilege to be a part of this global, seismic change.”
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