CVS Makes a Senior-Care Tech Bet

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CVS Makes a Senior-Care Tech Bet

By Jacqueline Barba - 01/13/2021

CVS Pharmacy is expanding its whole health strategy to include senior care through the launch of Symphony, an Amazon Alexa-like, smart home medical alert system.

“We constantly look at the consumer journey as inspiration for any of the innovations we are working on,” said CVS’ senior vice president of enterprise virtual care & consumer health innovation, Adam Pellegrini, during a panel discussion on “Essential Technologies for the New Health Revolution” at the Consumer Technology Association’s 2021 CES event on Jan. 13.

CVS Health Symphony is a senior-focused, simple system that goes in the home and automatically connects to a care team/family via a mobile app. It’s available in stores and online in two bundles that each can serve as the foundation of the medical alert system, offering add-ons that can be purchased/opted into separately to enhance coverage.

When Pellegrini first started at CVS more than a year ago, his team began their first innovation project asking themselves how to create a “home health hub” that is easy for seniors to use and can connect them with family and friends as well as their actual healthcare team. While there are plenty of companies such as Best Buy already working to fill the gap in the senior care market, Pellegrini said he saw particular opportunity in the unique assets CVS has throughout the company at its disposal.

One asset Symphony particularly drew inspiration from is the retailer’s new HealthHUB store concept, which has seen great success, according to Pellegrini and the company. After pausing HealthHUB conversions in late March, CVS resumed in mid-June and remains on track to open about 1,500 hubs by the end of 2021. “HealthHUBs are where we take all of our services – from Aetna to Caremark to the CVS Pharmacy retail side – and build a health experience around the consumer in the community,” he said.

“The biggest aspect of Symphony is as we build more and more around the consumer and the home, we can bridge the consumer home to our local stores and our virtual care experience online to create a truly omnichannel care experience."

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