Best Buy dives deeper into senior healthcare—and it could catch the eyes of telehealth vendors

Best Buy Health launched its newest smartphone, Lively Smart, which was designed for older adults: It comes baked with simple phone features and easy one-touch access to health and safety services including urgent response, urgent care, and a mobile caregiver communication app (Lively Link). The smartphone is priced at $149.99, not including any monthly service charges.

This launch builds on Best Buy Health’s “Active Aging” initiative for seniors:

  • In September 2020, Best Buy Health partnered with Amazon to launch LivelyFlip—a flip phone that integrates with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and connects seniors with on-demand providers. The phone lets seniors make calls, send texts, and reach care teams 24/7 at Best Buy-owned telehealth company GreatCall.
  • In March 2021, Best Buy teamed up with Apple to offer its Lively app to Apple Watch users. The app offers both emergency and non-emergency health support services that aim to keep older adults safe and independent.
  • Best Buy Health also has its own senior-focused virtual care ecosystem that connects remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices, telehealth, and home visits. Best Buy’s Caring Center specialists observe users’ health data and reach out when they spot any unusual changes. When necessary, the Caring Center team can connect users with their preferred on-demand care provider. At the same time, family caregivers are kept in the loop via notifications provided on the connected Lively app.
  • And Best Buy Health made a huge step into the provider space back in October via its Kaiser Permanente partnership back in October 2020. As part of the tie-up, Best Buy’s Lively Mobile Plus remote monitoring program was embedded with Kaiser’s Medicare program.

Best Buy Health’s focus on older adults could be especially attractive to virtual care vendors—there’s a growing need for at-home care among the elderly, and telehealth providers will want to help power it.

  • As more seniors eschew nursing homes, there will be louder calls for tech that enables remote caregiving. 77% of people over the age of 55 want to age at home, but only 50% believe they will be able to. Innovative home health care solutions that integrate RPM and telehealth can empower seniors to live independently, while still having their health needs supported.
  • It wouldn’t be surprising to see a telehealth company tap Best Buy Health’s products to capitalize on the growing senior healthcare market opportunity. Telemedicine use among adults 65+ increased 300% during the pandemic—more than any other age group. On top of that, older adults are expected to make over 20% of the population by 2030, which means integrating innovative home healthcare solutions like Best Buy’s could help telehealth providers capture more consumers.