- Best Buy is acquiring United Kingdom-based at-home care platform Current Health for an undisclosed amount, expanding its push into the health industry.
- The massive consumer electronics retailer already owns two healthcare companies, and is now snapping up Current, which has a platform combining remote patient monitoring, telehealth and patient engagement. The move comes as an increasing amount of care is delivered in the home, accelerating consumers' use of health tech.
- The acquisition should allow Best Buy to play a bigger role in virtual care delivery, the company said in a blog post Tuesday. Best Buy expects the deal, which will be financed with cash, to close by the end of the fourth quarter of its 2022 fiscal year, per a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The proportion of care being offered inside the home was increasing even before the coronavirus as the population ages and patients look to address medical needs away from the expensive inpatient setting. But experts say COVID-19 has accelerated the trend, with proponents of at-home care arguing it improves access while reducing downstream costs.
And demand for care delivered in the home is likely to continue, resulting in at-home care startups seeing rising deals and major infusions of cash over the past year and a half.
Hospitals, concerned about winnowing inpatient volumes, have been scrambling to snap up a share of the at-home care market, with players like Intermountain, CommonSpirit and Kaiser recently ramping up their investments. Payers have also been getting in on the action, hoping to lower costs for their patient populations.
Best Buy's past healthcare investments have focused on the intersection between technology and care for aging adults.
In comments on their Current Health buy, executives said Best Buy's expertise in consumer-friendly technology and the combination of Current Health's remote care management platform with Best Buy's existing health products and services should help streamline holistic care delivery.
"The future of consumer technology is directly connected to the future of healthcare," Best Buy Health President Deborah Di Sanzo said in a statement.
And Best Buy is an attractive partner for Edinburgh-based Current due to its large physical footprint, supply chain logistics and tech support services, Current Health CEO Christopher McCann said.
Current's platform integrates patient-reported information with data from biosensors, including wearables, to give healthcare organizations real-time insights into their health. The six-year-old startup uses clinical algorithms to identify when a patient needs clinical attention to help organizations manage care remotely or coordinate needed in-person services in the home.
The startup's focus on connected health devices jibes with Best Buy's other recent health acquisitions.
Best Buy bought Great Call, a provider of simplified cell phones, connected health devices and emergency response services for older adults, for $800 million in 2018; and senior remote monitoring company Critical Signal Technologies for an undisclosed amount in 2019.
Best Buy's leadership has described healthcare as a growth opportunity for the Minneapolis-based retailer amid trends like the push towards home health, the need to cut medical costs and the growing popularity of health tech.
In its most recent earnings call in August, CEO Corie Barry said Best Buy would continue looking into additional adjacent categories of healthcare that will leverage the retailer's ability to commercialize new technology, building on its plan to rapidly scale its healthcare segment.
The plan, announced in 2019, is to serve 5 million seniors through in-home health monitoring by 2025, a significant leap from the 1 million served by Best Buy at the time.
"I think broadly we remain really optimistic about how the future of healthcare can be changed through technology and the role that we can play in it it," Barry said on the earnings call.
Shares of Best Buy ticked up slightly in morning trading Tuesday following the news.