Aetna Bets On Apple Watches Amid Growing Skepticism Of Wearables’ Health Benefits
Starting next year, Aetna will give an Apple Watch to its employees for free as part of its wellness program and subsidize a “significant portion” of the Apple Watch cost for some large employers and groups.
Aetna Makes Large Bet On Wellness With Apple Watches
Apple Watches are becoming near-ubiquitous in healthcare and the corporate world, and health insurer Aetna is now investing heavily in the wellness promises of the device. However, companies that have offered an Apple Watch with the hope of getting people to be more active and healthy have to prove wearable devices and wellness programs meaningfully change consumer behavior, which has often worked better in theory than in practice. “These types of technologies can really help to facilitate behavior change, but the devices themselves are not what drive behavior change,” said Dr. Mitesh Patel, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. (Herman, 9/27)
Aetna Will Subsidize Apple Watch In First U.S. Insurer Deal
Aetna Inc. will give some customers and employees discounts on Apple Inc.’s smartwatch, offering the potential that incentives from the insurance industry could boost sales of the technology giant’s wearable device. The health insurer, which covers about 23 million people in the U.S., is developing apps for Apple devices that will help consumers remember to take their medicines, get a refill on prescriptions, or contact a doctor. The applications, which will be available next year, will also help members understand their insurance benefits and use Apple’s Wallet feature to pay bills, Aetna said Tuesday in a statement with Apple. (Tracer and Webb, 9/27)