Best Buy's Lively app now available on Apple Watch as retailer pushes further into healthcare

Best Buy Health is teaming up with Apple to make its Lively health and safety app available on the tech giant's smartwatch.

Apple Watch users with the Lively app can get assistance from urgent response agents to get help in emergency and nonemergency situations. Agents can assist with everything from medical emergencies to sending help if a user has car trouble, the company said.

The new partnership is part of the retailer's broader health ambitions.

During a recent earnings call, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry outlined that the company's health strategy focuses on three areas based on its strength in retail and with an eye toward connecting patients and physicians.

"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 for example," Barry said, according to an earnings transcript.

Best Buy Health also is focused on active aging with emergency response devices and services for Generation A to help them live independently in their homes. The third area is virtual health to connect patients and physicians, including remote patient monitoring.

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In the next year, Best Buy plans to expand its consumer health products with additional devices and services as part of its active aging business and will add more remote monitoring tools, Barry said.

"We plan to invest in people, product development and the ongoing development of our health technology platform and our data analytics and intelligence engines," she said.

As part of the new collaboration with Apple, Best Buy will soon launch a live agent assist feature. When Apple Watch detects a hard fall, Lively agents will provide an extra layer of protection by calling users to make sure they are not injured and contacting family members if needed. 

Best Buy Health worked closely with Apple on this upcoming feature, which is one of the first to use Apple’s new fall detection application programming interface to help protect the health and safety of users who have taken a hard fall, the company said.

The Lively app also includes an urgent care feature that enables users to speak to a registered nurse or board-certified doctor from the comfort of home or on the go, without an appointment, 24/7. No insurance plan or co-pay is needed.

The service also links to the GreatCall app that keeps family members informed about a user's health and safety.

“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,” said David Inns, Best Buy Health’s president of active aging. “It’s the perfect next step in furthering Best Buy Health’s mission to enrich and save lives through technology and meaningful connections.”