Aetna and Apple have come together for one fantastic result: subsidized Apple Watches. Since Apple recently updated its wearable technology to better track health and fitness, the insurance company will now cover part of the cost of the device for some of its customers. The catch is that those who take advantage of this perk will have to engage with certain apps that are meant to help with healthy living.
The associated apps, which will also run on iPhones and iPads, will remind people when to take their medications and when to order refills, guide users through health events like being prescribed a new medication, as well as provide insurance information. The apps will also be able to link to the Apple Wallet app for making payments, Aetna said.
Some people might not feel comfortable having an app report their info or stats back to their insurance company, but Aetna insists that its current privacy policies still apply and that its customers should feel safe.
The idea behind the initiative is that the devices can help people make better choices and keep track of their well-being, resulting in more healthy days at work.
“These kinds of devices have the potential to really affect how people make decisions to lead healthier lives,” says Carnegie Mellon assistant professor Vibhanshu Abhishek, citing some of the same functions that Aetna says it will incorporate. As the devices get more accurate and add more sophisticated sensors, they will become even more valuable in healthcare, predicting heart attacks days beforehand, for example.
Check out the video below to learn more about Aetna’s plan.