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Next time you buy a TV at Best Buy, you may be also offered health care

  • Best Buy executives told Wall Street this week that they see opportunities to make money in the health space.
  • CEO Hubert Joly said the company is testing a service called Assured Living "to help the aging population stay healthy at home with assistance from technology products and services."
A customer uses her mobile phone as she shops at a Best Buy in Skokie, Ill.
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A customer uses her mobile phone as she shops at a Best Buy in Skokie, Ill.

Best Buy is expanding its tech support options with an eye toward keeping its older customers healthy.

On the retailer's earnings call this week, company executives said that they see opportunities to make money in the health space.

"We already assort a variety of health-related products and technology products designed for seniors like specially designed phones and medical alert systems," CEO Hubert Joly said. "We're also testing a service called Assured Living to help the aging population stay healthy at home with assistance from technology products and services."

While consumers may associate Best Buy with gadgets, the company told investors its strategy is to address "key human needs in areas such as entertainment, productivity, communication, food preparation, security, and health and wellness."

Health is becoming a hot market for all sorts of companies, including Best Buy suppliers. Apple, for example, has expanded the health functions on the Apple Watch, and Amazon is also exploring health care in a myriad of ways.

"One of the things we've talked about is how technology can help people stay in their home for longer and there's a lot of excitement around helping people do that," Joly said. Technology "improves people's health and wellness and reduce[s] health care costs for the country."

On Thursday, Best Buy reported profit that topped estimates, but disappointed investors with lukewarm online sales growth and by not updating its outlook.

But Joly said that when it comes to new initiatives like health technology, the retailer plans to keep refining its approach and focus on innovative technologies.

"We're not trying to increase the profitability, because we are trying to position the company for the future," he said. "The return for the winners in this space are going to be outsized because there's going to be greater and greater differentiation between winners and losers. And so this is the time clearly to invest."