Will seniors trust CVS to keep them safe with in-home IoT?
CVS recently announced the rollout of a medical alert system to meet senior customers’ healthcare needs in their homes.
The system, called Symphony, consists of a suite of health-oriented wearables, smart devices and a voice-activated smart hub that allows users to call for assistance from caregivers, according to Home Health Care News. The user can opt to utilize features such as motion, temperature and air quality sensors which can be set up to automatically contact caregivers in the event of a reading that indicates danger to the senior.
While the notion of setting up seniors with an emergency call button may evoke memories of the oft lampooned LifeAlert commercials, the demand for senior-specific health technology is growing. Major retailers outside of pharmacy already began taking note a few years ago.
Toward the end of the last decade, as tech retailers began exploring new markets in which to sell Internet of Things (IoT) products and new models for deploying them, one of the biggest tech and gadget retailers began focusing on home technology geared toward the seniors market. Best Buy began installing customized suites of integrated health monitoring tools in homes of seniors, which include tools to measure food consumption via smart refrigerators, predict falling risk and monitor heart rate.
Such solutions began coming to market as a few trends converged: the emergence of an aging population with a higher level of comfort with technology than in the past, and the anticipation that Baby Boomers will want to remain living in their homes and preserve their personal autonomy as they reach an age at which members of earlier generations may have moved into assisted living communities.
This isn’t CVS’s first foray into home health care. In recent years the chain has begun offering services like in-home dialysis.
Nor is CVS the only retail pharmacy to recognize the importance of meeting aging customers’ needs. In 2017, Walgreens drew accolades for its mobile app, which incorporated a slate of features such as a Pill Reminder function and adjustable text. The app experienced usage among customers 55 and older at a rate twice that of the industry average.
- CVS Health Building ‘Home Health Hub’ to Better Care for Seniors – Home Health Care News
- Best Buy makes a big bet on health tech – RetailWire
- How is Walgreens getting older shoppers to use its mobile app? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think CVS and other retail pharmacies will succeed with in home tech services? Could retail pharmacies use home technology to deliver other adjacent services to their customer base in ways that would differentiate them from Best Buy and other strictly tech competitors?