Making moves to become a larger force in aging-in-place technology, retail giant Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) has agreed to acquire GreatCall for $800 million in cash. GreatCall has developed and sells senior-friendly smartphones, smartwatches, medical alert devices and other technology to support and extend older adults’ independence.
“[Best Buy] has recently been investing in health-related initiatives focused on the aging population that have included the participation of several of the nation’s leading health care providers and insurers,” the company stated in a press release issued Wednesday. “The acquisition of GreatCall will augment Best Buy’s existing efforts in the health space, help bring compelling solutions to more customers, and help fuel Best Buy’s further growth in the consumer and commercial markets.”
One such initiative is Best Buy’s “Assured Living” program, announced in the fall of 2017. In this program, a consumer purchases a suite of products that can support aging in place, such as motion sensors for beds and doors, Wi-Fi enabled doorbell cameras and smart thermostats that can pair with smartphones. Geek Squad workers install the devices in a customer’s home.
In the Denver area, the technology is used in tandem with a wellness coach sponsored by insurer UnitedHealthcare.