Apple is getting serious about the Apple Watch’s health benefits. Starting this spring, Apple and Aetna are teaming up to offer a new watchOS app that “is designed to give you real ways to be healthier so you can hit achievable goals—and earn rewards when you do.” And if you don’t have an Apple Watch, Aetna will give you one to try it out.
According to Aetna’s description of the app, Attain works something like Apple’s own Activity app. The app will establish daily and weekly goals as well as nutrition challenges and sleep schedules based on your health history, which will then become prompts throughout the day. It’ll also let you know when you’re due for a check-up, flu shot, and prescription refill so you can stay on top of your care. Aetna also says the app will help track down preferred labs and testing centers and spotlight the lowest-cost options based on your plan.
But the most intriguing aspect of the Attain program is the built-in rewards. Right off the bat, Aetna will send customers a brand new Apple Watch Series 3 (users can also opt to upgrade to a Series 4 model), which will be paid off over the course of the next two years by earning reward points. For example, if you meet your step goal for the day, you may earn 100 points, which can be converted into a dollar amount to defray your monthly watch payments.
Presumably Aetna will provide enough monthly challenges and goals to completely offset the cost of the watch. Additionally, Aetna will offer gift cards to popular stores such as Best Buy, Starbucks, and Amazon that can be bought with rewards points.
Aetna says the app and program will be available in the spring. Interested Aetna subscribers can sign up at www.attainbyaetna.com for information when it is available.
Why this matters: In a recent interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, Tim Cook said that Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind wouldn’t be the iPhone or the iPad, but health. We’ve already heard stories about how the Apple Watch has saved people’s lives, but this new partnership takes it to a new level, with the potential to impact, and save, millions of lives.
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Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.