Best Buy Health has released multiple health and safety tools for older adults via Apple Watch, the company announced Wednesday.
To access Lively Health & Safety Services on an Apple Watch, users must have the Lively app and a Lively Health & Safety Plan. The Preferred Health & Safety package has various features, including: Urgent Response, which connects customers with agents to assist in emergencies; Urgent Care, which lets users speak to a registered nurse or board-certified doctor without an appointment at any time; and the GreatCall Link app, which notifies loved ones in a crisis and provides updates regarding the device.
With the Live Agent Assist feature, when the Apple Watch detects a hard fall a Lively Agent will call to see if the user needs help and will contact family members if necessary. The company didn't share when that feature would be available but said it was forthcoming.
In 2018, Best Buy ventured into health technology when it acquired GreatCall for $800 million. GreatCall offered connected health and emergency response services to its aging population, and at the time of acquisition had 900,000 paying subscribers.
The rollout of Best Buy Health's Lively Health & Safety tools is the retailer's most recent health tech move. Going forward, the company's strategy is to produce consumer health products, device-based emergency response tools and virtual care services to match doctors with patients, per its announcement.
"By offering these powerful safety features on Apple Watch, we're creating a new way to achieve a greater sense of connection and independence for older adults, and added peace of mind for both them and their families," David Inns, Best Buy Health's president of active aging, said in a statement. "It's the perfect next step in furthering Best Buy Health's mission to enrich and save lives through technology and meaningful connections."
But as Best Buy Health expands its services, the company's retail arm has had to shift its workforce. Last month, the company slashed 5,000 mostly full-time jobs and added 2,000 part-time roles, because, as CEO Corie Barry said during an analyst call, the retailer had too many full-time employees and not enough part-time workers. During the last fiscal year, the company also cut 17% of its staff.