Best Buy is exploring a new service to help seniors age in place with the assistance of a series of innovative healthcare solutions.
In recent statements, CEO Hubert Joly, said Best Buy is testing a new home healthcare service called Assured Living "to help the aging population stay healthy at home with assistance from technology products and services."
Similar to other non-traditional healthcare competitors like Apple, Amazon and Walmart, who have all announced their intentions to address the healthcare market, Best Buy believes technology can help seniors stay in their own homes longer.
Joly said their plans are not finalized and they continue to refine their strategy, experiment and iterate.
One of Best Buy Assured Living's goals is that while your mother may be "home alone, she's not on her own". In that vein, they offer a series of life alert systems, home monitoring technologies and sensors that allow caregivers and family members to monitor the activity of their loved ones in the home. All of Assured Living's products can be installed through Best Buy's Geek Squad.
The sensor technology, if it works as advertised, is actually kind of cool. After about a month of tracking front-door, cabinet door and furniture sensors, it will send notifications to caregivers when those patterns are broken. For example, let's the front door is opened every morning between 7:30 am and 9 am. If it doesn't open one morning, you would be alerted, prompting you to call or drop-in to ensure everything is ok.
Similarly, if the fridge door does not open as frequently as usual, perhaps there's a health issue that causing loss of appetite that needs to be looked into.
The system will provide a dashboard that will allow caregivers to see sleep patterns, night time falls, lack of activity and wandering.
Best Buy Assured Living will allow caregivers to receive custom notifications. For example, you may want to be notified whenever your loved one gets out of bed or opens the front door. An alert will notify you of an event on your mobile app.
Lastly, Assured Living will also allow caregivers to remotely access door locks and lights. This is a great service for loved ones who might lock themselves out of their homes frequently, or forget to lock their doors on their own. It will also allow you to see who's at the front door through the doorbell camera and remotely open the door for your loved, if they can't get up on their own to do it.
The range of services offered by Best Buy Assured Living are a compilation of services that already exist. It will be interesting to see how they can bring the power of their marketing, awareness and distribution to bear on the senior's home healthcare market.
The service costs $189 for the hardware (3 contact sensors, 1 motion sensor and control panel), $199 for installation and $29.99 a month for monitoring. Additional assistive devices are extra. The emergency response system is an additional $49.99 for the equipment. It should also be noted that the Assured Living emergency response system does not include automatic fall detection, GPS or use outside the home. Compared to ife alert which costs between $19.95 and $60 a month, with free equipment, the value proposition is no slam dunk.
Best Buy has established partnerships with the Mayo Clinic, AARP and United Health Care to help promote Assured Living. Best Buy Assured Living is available in many major cities, but is not available in all states, yet.