Best Buy Co. Inc. is doubling down on its bet that the at-home health care market is poised for growth.
The consumer electronics giant is teaming up with Atrium Health, a non-profit healthcare system, to develop new offerings that provide hospital-level care directly in a consumer’s home. Atrium Health is part of Advocate Health, one of the country’s largest health-care nonprofits. Financial terms of the multi-year partnership were not disclosed.
The agreement follows Best Buy’s late 2021 purchase of Current Health, a U.K. care-at-home technology platform that brings together remote patient monitoring, telehealth and patient engagement into a single solution for healthcare organizations.
[Read more: Best Buy to acquire Current Health as it dives deeper into home health care]
As part of the new partnership, specially trained Best Buy Geek Squad personnel will set up health care technology and devices in patients' homes and train the patients and caregivers in how to use the equipment. Best Buy and Atrium will also leverage their telemedicine capabilities as part of the in-home care program.
Atrium Health has an established “hospital at home program” and a patient population of nearly 3 million people. Meanwhile, Best Buy has made digital-health technology and health-monitoring services a critical feature of its “Building the New Blue” strategy, which targets annual revenue of $50 billion by 2025.
"We knew Atrium Health was the right partner to help tackle the unique challenges within the care at home experience,” said Deborah Di Sanzo, president of Best Buy Health. “We’re excited to leverage our expertise in omnichannel, supply chain, Caring Center support and services, in-home support and our ability to connect patients and providers through Current Health’s care at home platform. Those strengths, combined with Atrium Health’s extensive clinical expertise and deep experience leading in virtual care, will help us improve and enable care in the home for everyone.”
In 2018, Best Buy acquired GreatCall, which makes easy-to-use cell phones and connected health devices and provides health and emergency response services to seniors, for $800 million. In 2019, the retailer acquired Critical Signal Technologies, a senior-focused health services company.
Atrium launched its hospital-at-home program during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The offerings have evolved to cover conditions such as as cardiac, COPD, pneumonia, asthma, various infections and other medical and post-operative conditions.
“Our partnership with Best Buy Health will help change the lives of our patients and consumers, giving them access to the tools and experiences they need to receive care in the comfort of their own home,” said Dr. Rasu Shrestha, chief innovation and commercialization officer at Advocate Health, of which Atrium Health is a part. “Our surveys show high levels of patient satisfaction for our hospital at home experience and the use of virtual care is a valuable tool in our efforts to eradicate both economic and geographic disparities in accessing health care services. Together with Best Buy Health, we will combine our strengths to provide better outcomes and equitable access for patients who will receive their care in the home. This will also allow for a more successful and seamless process for the providers caring for them.”
Tier I retailers expand into health care
While other major retailers, such as Walmart and Target, are focusing their health care initiatives on out-of-home clinics, Amazon is targeting its new Amazon Clinic virtual health care solution at consumers in their homes. Launched in November 2022, Amazon Clinic provides virtual care for more than 20 common health conditions, such as allergies, acne, and hair loss.
In July 2022, Amazon entered into an agreement to acquire One Medical, a membership-based primary healthcare provider, for $3.9 billion, its third-biggest acquisition to date. The San Francisco-based health care startup offers a combination of in-person, digital and virtual care services, promising members “24/7 access to virtual care.”