The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:
It might seem a bit odd to buy a product made by Medtronic Inc. — best known for its sophisticated heart devices — at an Edina strip mall.
Far-fetched, sure, but true. Today, Medtronic will take its first baby steps into retail at Best Buy’s new health-wellness-technology concept store, EQ-life in Edina.
There, shoppers can buy the Fridley-based company’s LifePak CR Plus automated external defibrillator (AED) in an unusual process that involves a kiosk, a team of virtual doctors who issue a prescription and, ultimately, the heart-shocking device.
Lunch-box sized AEDs are easy-to-use in the event of a cardiac emergency. Advised by a series of voice prompts, adhesive electrode pads placed on the chest deliver a powerful shock, helping to restore the heart’s natural rhythm.
For the past year, Medtronic has been selling AEDs over several retailers’ Web sites — including Costco, Walgreens and Sam’s Club — but this is the first time one of its products has actually hit a store’s shelves. For now, it’s the only Medtronic product slated for retail channels, though the company finds the prospect intriguing.