Millions of Apple Watches May Head to Aetna Customers in the U.S.
Apple has reportedly been holding secret meetings to discuss the possibility of giving away 23 million or discounted Apple Watches to U.S. health insurer Aetna’s customers.
Top executives from both companies met last Thursday and Friday in Southern California, according to a new report from CNBC. Myoung Cha, who heads up Apple’s special health projects, led the talks, with hospital chief medical information officers from across the U.S. also in attendance, said sources “close to the matter.”
In September 2016, Aetna revealed its plan to combine the Apple Watch with its analytics-based wellness and care management programs by integrating several iOS-exclusive health initiatives. The company made the Apple Watch available to some of its large employers and individual members during open enrollment season, subsidizing part of the cost.
The watches used in Aetna’s corporate wellness program are meant to keep employees “active, healthy and productive throughout the day,” according to an Apple statement. Aetna HR chief Tom Weidenkopf said, “building a healthier world starts with our own employees.”
The push could be part of Aetna’s recent initiative geared toward increasing customer interest in diet tracking and smart lifestyle choices. Aetna could also utilize data drawn from the Apple Watches to gain insight into customer activities should users be willing to hand it over.
Apple and Aetna both declined to comment on the matter.