A new partnership will enable more access to hospital at home services, as Best Buy Health and Atrium Health, one of the nation’s largest hospital operators, join technology and health care capabilities.
Best Buy will train members of its Geek Squad to set up wearable health care technology for patients at home, and Atrium Health care professionals will monitor patients’ vitals remotely.
Atrium Health created a hospital at home program in less than three weeks at the start of the pandemic, said its website. Now, its program can care for “such conditions as heart failure, COPD, pneumonia, asthma, various infections and other medical and post-operative conditions using wearable technology, virtual visits with providers and twice-daily home visits from Atrium Health community paramedics.”
The new initiative also helps address health care access issues, as approximately one-fourth of people using Atrium Health’s hospital at home program are from underserved or at-risk populations, said Colleen Hole, an Atrium Health vice president and the administrator of its hospital at home program, for the website.
“In addition to providing the convenience of high-touch service delivered in the home, Atrium Health community paramedics are trained to identify potential challenges to a patient’s health, such as food insecurity, unsafe housing, risks of falls in the home and patients being unable to afford their medications, just to name a few,” Hole said. If those challenges are found, an Atrium Health hospital at home social worker steps in.
A Forbes article noted the business implications of the partnership in “Best Buy Pushes Deeper Into Healthcare With ‘Hospital At Home’ Partnership.” Forbes reports that last year, Best Buy began selling an expanded collection of hearing aids plus “’an in-store experience in more than 300 stores, and a new online hearing assessment tool.’” The previous year, Best Buy acquired Current Health, which offers remote patient monitoring.
In this month’s Tech Time, “New White Paper Maps Virtual Care’s Potential” anticipates this type of move. A new report from the Ziegler Corporate Finance Healthcare Practice team says that investments in virtual care and consumer brands becoming health care brands are among the tailwinds advancing virtual care. Ziegler is a LeadingAge Gold Partner with CAST Focus.