Apple teams with Aetna on app that rewards users for healthy living

Apple Watch, using Aetna client data, wants to help you be healthy

Apple Watch, using Aetna client data, wants to help you be healthy

You'll receive alerts when it's time to schedule a visit with your physician, or for prescription refill reminders and flu shots. What separates Attain from these is Apple's relationship with Aetna, and the focus on personalization by the user. Users who try to meet those goals, or succeed, earn points they can put toward gift cards or use to offset the cost of the Apple Watch.

All Attain health data will be encrypted "on the device, in transit, and on Aetna and Apple's servers, where it will be stored in a highly secure environment using industry-leading practices fully in compliance with HIPAA", Aetna said. The idea is that real-world and claims information can combine to help create a personalized digital health experience that members will adopt. Through analytics and machine learning, the collaboration will lead to new features for Attain, offering more personalized recommendations created to give greater context and decrease barriers to health care, the insurer said.

The app, which Aetna and Apple have been working on for three years, is expected to launch this spring and will be available to up to 300,000 subscribers initially, according to CNBC, before eventually being rolled out to all of the provider's 22 million customers.

The program is geared towards helping members of all backgrounds and fitness levels achieve their personalized activity and wellness goals, and will allow successful participants to earn financial rewards.

Sustain Everyday Health: Attain offers weekly challenges, where participants earn points for taking actions that improve their overall health and well-being. Companies like Vitality and UnitedHealth Group's Rally Health offer rewards for the work members do toward goals like weight loss, stress management, or better eating and sleeping habits.

Since then, the Watch has been augmented with health-centric features such as an ECG monitor, and more private payers have integrated the wearable device into their chronic disease management and wellness programming.

"As we learn over time, the goal is to make more customized recommendations that will help members accomplish their goals and live healthier lives", Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer, said in a statement.

User privacy and data security are at the heart of Attain. But Aetna says the information gathered by Attain "will not be used for underwriting, premium or coverage decisions", and will be used only to improve the app's custom recommendations. Whether in one of its pharmacies or through its health services and plans, CVS Health is pioneering a bold new approach to total health by making quality care more affordable, accessible, simple and seamless.

CVS' acquisition of Aetna is, in part, an effort to find new ways to take care of patients and keep them healthier at a lower cost. The fear is, if Aetna all of a sudden has access to holistic health data, it might choose to raise rates.

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