Earlier this month retail giant Target announced a significant investment in digital health. The company will not only draw attention to digital health in its online store, but have more than 500 retail locations feature a dedicated digital health section. According to several sources, the portfolio of devices will go beyond the usual activity monitors and blood pressure monitors for home-use. Target is not sharing many details around this development but the overall theme seems to be closely aligned with connected care.
In December last year, CVS Health acquired Target’s pharmacy business, however, with Target’s newly announced direction in digital health it is likely see some level of interaction between CVS’s pharmacies and Target’s digital health business line. This is also critical for CVS Health in its competitive struggle with Walgreens. Walgreens became the largest pharmacy chain in the United States after its acquisition of Rite Aid and has generally been more successful with connected care compared to CVS Health.
The brick and mortar channel for digital health have mainly resided in the pharmacy industry with few exceptions such as Best Buy and Apple. With Target joining, the exposure of digital health applications and connected care will increase, if marketed effectively. More precisely, Target must not only sell devices but also manage its role in the broader healthcare ecosystem.
IHS will continue to cover this development as more details are shared by Target.
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