Reports indicate that Aetna and Apple have held secret talks with a view to bringing the Apple Watch to customers of the health insurer. It is understood that Aetna is in negotiations with a view to having the smartwatch made available to its policy holders either for free or at a discounted rate as a perk.
Currently Aetna offers the fitness and health-tracking smartwatch to its employees numbering about 50,000 as part of the organization’s wellness program. Aetna also revealed last year that it would be providing the smartwatch to a couple of large employers. As such this development could be an expansion of that strategy.
“This is a logical step for Apple’s broader distribution of their watch, and this type of partnership has been on their radar from the beginning,” Tim Bajarin, the president of technology advisory firm Creative Strategies, said.
One of the meetings is said to have taken place in the state of California were executives from the two organizations met. Medical information officers who were drawn from all parts of the United States were also present. According to sources this is part of the push by Aetna to increase the interest in customers towards a better way of tracking their diets and leading healthier lifestyles.
The development could lead to an increase in the sales of the Apple Watch which at the moment offers fitness and health-tracking as the primary selling point. According to a report by Strategy Analytics, sales of the Apple Watch were higher than those of Fitbit as shipments reached 22 million in this year’s first quarter. The upcoming version which could be released in fall is likely to be even more popular as it is expected to possess wireless connectivity which will allow it to work independently on the iPhone.
Previous reports have also indicated that new health sensors are being developed by Apple which will make the device necessary for survival among those suffering from chronic diseases. One of the health sensors being developed is meant for use among diabetics and will be used to monitor blood sugar levels noninvasively.