Target to launch digital health section of devices in 500 stores

By Jonah Comstock

Target has plans to launch a new digital health initiative next month online and in 500 of its 1,793 stores. Beyond knowing the stories will offer a new section for health devices, details on what, exactly, the launch will entail are scarce. One device that will be included is Quell, an FDA-cleared and smartphone-connected wearable for treating chronic pain from Waltham, Massachusetts-based Neurometrix.

“To further meet the health and wellness needs of our guests, Target is excited to offer connected health devices in select stores and at, including Quell products, starting in spring 2016,” Mark P. Jones, a buyer at Target Health and Wellness, said in a statement issued by Neurometrix. Target declined to comment further to MobiHealthNews.

Target made health news in December when it sold its pharmacy and clinic businesses to CVS, which will operate them in a "store within a store" format.

The store has also carried various digital health devices in the past. In June 2013, when MobiHealthNews did a local spot-check of digital health devices in Boston retail locations, we found that on its website, Target offered a large variety of devices such as Lark, Scosche and iHealth devices, but in-store the options were significantly limited. A Reebok Fitness Dual Rate Heart Monitor, a wearable activity tracker, had hit the clearance aisle, while the other fitness wrist-worn options were Fitbit Flex, Jawbone UP and Polar Watch.

Additionally, in 2014, AliveCor inked a deal with Omron that would bring its devices to several retail stores, including Target and rival Walmart. Best Buy made a similar 500-store bet on digital health back in 2010, in partnership with Microsoft and New Jersey healthcare facility Meridian Health.