Best Buy shelled out $400M for Current Health as it ramps up health strategy

Best Buy spent nearly $400 million to acquire remote patient monitoring technology vendor Current Health in October, according to the company's recent quarterly earnings.

Current Health's remote monitoring platform combined with Best Buy's scale, expertise and connection to the home will enable the retailer to create a "holistic care ecosystem that shows up for customers across all their healthcare needs," Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said during the company's third-quarter earnings call last week.

The acquisition closed earlier in November. The Current Health acquisition was a larger cash outlay at approximately $400 million and is expected to have a slightly negative impact on the company's fourth-quarter non-GAAP operating income, Barry said.

Barry added that investing in virtual care will not be a quick win for Best Buy.

"To be clear, even though the healthcare industry is evolving quickly, in many ways as a result of the pandemic impacts, it adopts new ways of doing things at a much slower pace than other industries like retail," she said. "Virtual care is a truly nascent space with significant opportunity, but it will take time and investment to develop our offerings and scale."

Current Health provides an enterprise remote care management platform that combines connected health devices, telehealth and patient engagement into a single solution for healthcare organizations. The company's platform includes an FDA-cleared wearable medical device that monitors vital signs, a home hub that integrates with hundreds of other monitoring devices and connection to patients' electronic health records.

There has been an increasing focus on bringing healthcare into the home with the aim of providing patients better access and quality of life while helping reduce costs. 

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"Terms like home nesting and virtual care have been invented to describe what all of us know so well, that where we work, entertain, receive healthcare and connect has changed, and our homes are now central to our lives more than ever before," Barry said.

Best Buy's health strategy focuses on three areas based on its strength in retail and with an eye toward connecting patients and physicians, Barry said. The first focus area is the consumer health category for customers who want to be healthier, sleep better or need to monitor a chronic condition like diabetes or heart disease, she said.

The retailer also is focused on active aging with emergency response devices and services for seniors along with virtual health to connect patients and physicians, including remote patient monitoring.

Best Buy reported record third-quarter financial results of $11.9 billion in sales and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $2.08.