As president of Best Buy Health, Deborah Di Sanzo leads three focus areas for the company’s at-home health strategy: wellness at home, aging at home and care at home. She also heads the incubation and corporate development teams. Prior to her posts at Best Buy, she led IBM’s Watson Health team and, before that, was CEO of Philips Healthcare. She joins Modern Healthcare to discuss Best Buy’s plans for growth and why it sees big opportunities in healthcare. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
How has Best Buy’s healthcare strategy evolved over the past few years?
I came on at Best Buy in September 2020. We had an opportunity to take another look at the healthcare strategy based on the trends we were seeing. During the pandemic, we saw an increase in the consumerization of healthcare--this feeling from consumers of, “I need to take care of myself and my family in my home, and I’m going to do it with digital health tools, and I can now engage with my physicians and health systems in a virtual way.”
In response, we tuned the strategy to enable care at home in three focal areas—wellness at home, aging at home and care at home—and built on the Best Buy core competencies of being an omnichannel, consumer electronics retailer. Then we have Geek Squad to help people with technology in their home.
What opportunities did Best Buy see in healthcare?
You might think of a virtual care meeting as a physician on one end of a computer screen and a patient on another, but when we looked at that, we saw a logistics problem. If you’re going to have a hospital or chronic disease management program at home, then you need connected remote patient monitoring equipment.
How do you get the remote patient monitoring equipment into the home when it needs to be there? How do you connect it? How do you make sure the battery is working? How do you make sure the caregiver and the patient know how to use it? How do you make sure that the connection to the physician is right? We can curate remote patient monitoring consumer health devices. We have layers of support, including Geek Squad, going into the patient’s home to help train people, get the monitoring equipment set up, make sure it’s working and make sure it’s connected.
How does Best Buy set itself apart from other retail disrupters, such as CVS or Walmart?
I really think of us more as the plumbing. We are enabling that connection between the physician and the patient. We’re enabling that connection between the care manager at a payer and the senior. We’re enabling caregivers to know what is happening with their mother or father. We’re giving confidence to seniors in their homes.
We don’t have a pharmacy, and we’re not going to have a pharmacy. We are not a primary care provider, and we’re not going to be a primary care provider. But we will enable a primary care provider to take better care of their patient virtually.