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Over two years ago Best Buy surprised many with its $800 million purchase of GreatCall Inc and its 900,000+ subscriber base. Best Buy purchased the brand as a way to expand its revenue streams through entry into the connected health sector. GreatCall sells wearables, phones and plans and services geared towards older adults and their caretakers.
According to a recent report released by Wave7 Research there are now two aisle endcap displays at Best Buy dedicated to GreatCall products. One endcap features two phones, the $74.99 GreatCall Jitterbug Smart2 and the $49.99 GreatCall Flip. This endcap has been in place showcasing phones since Best Buy purchased the brand. Company spokesman John Walsh is also on the display with the tagline "Stay connected, safe & healthy with GreatCall" highlighted.
The phones come with a dedicated 5Star button so that subscribers can get quick access to 5Star system agents. GreatCall describes its 5Star system as a "premier, award-winning emergency service that will immediately connect you to a highly-trained, certified IAED 5Star Agent in the event of an emergency. Our Agents, who were awarded for having the fastest response time, will confirm your location, evaluate your situation and get you the help you need, 24/7."
Brain Games are memory and puzzle games that are free and preinstalled on Jitterbug phones. GreatCall markets them as being potentially helpful and engaging for Alzheimer's patients.
The other endcap at Best Buy is brand new and features the tagline "Live life to the fullest." It is being used to showcase two wearable devices, a $37.49 (reg $49.99) dedicated medical alert device the Lively Mobile Plus and a new $49.99 smartwatch called the Lively Wearable2. Service for each item costs the same at $24.99/month.
The Lively Wearable2 is a step tracker and watch that comes with a battery life of 4 months, fall detection and can be worn with a wristband or lanyard. Users can press an on-screen button on the device to have their smartphone contact a 5Star Urgent Response Agent. Use of the feature requires subscribers to have the GreatCall Lively app (available on Android and iOS) installed on their phone.
The Lively Mobile Plus is a push-button palm-sized device that can be worn around its subscriber's neck, clipped to their belt or carried in a purse. It is waterproof, features fall detection, GPS and one-button 24/7 access to talk to a 5Star agent without the use of a smartphone. The Lively Mobile Plus has a 4G LTE network connection.
GreatCall leverages Verizon's network to provide service to its customers.
GreatCall devices come with the option to allow subscriber caregivers to use GreatCall Link. GreatCall Link is a free downloadable app that caregivers can use to receive an alert if their loved one attempts to contact 5Star, or let them know if their loved one's device battery is running low. It also allows caretakers to check in on their loved one's daily activities and their location.
The USA home care market is expected to grow to a market size of $225 billion by 2024. Consequently, the connected caregiving health sector will also continue to grow as America's Baby Boomer population ages. It's a market that GreatCall recognized early on and has a stronghold in. Given that, and Best Buy's purchase of the brand, it should come as no surprise that GreatCall is now being featured more in the store.
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