Aetna, Apple Roll Out New App to Track, Reward Healthy Behavior

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Aetna — a CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) company — are joining forces on a new app. It uses the Apple Watch to help Aetna members hit their well-being goals and avoid negative health outcomes.

The app — christened “Attain” — is yet another example of an insurer pursuing a creative means to keep their members healthy, out of hospitals and safely at home, especially as they age and develop more complex medical needs. To sweeten the deal for Aetna members, Attain will give eligible users an opportunity to “earn” an Apple Watch by participating in the program.

Attain builds on a collaboration between Aetna and Apple that was first established in 2016, when roughly 90% of Aetna participants reported a health benefit from using an Apple Watch. The Attain app is expected to be available in the Apple App Store in spring 2019.

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Aetna and Apple declined to comment on this story.

“We believe that people should be able to play a more active role in managing their well-being,” Apple COO Jeff Williams said in a statement. “Every day, we receive emails and letters from people all over the world who have found great benefit by incorporating Apple Watch into their lives and daily routines. As we learn over time, the goal is to make more customized recommendations that will help members accomplish their goals and live healthier lives.”

Earlier in January, reports surfaced that Cupertino, California-based Apple was in discussions with multiple private Medicare plans about its smart watch product and its ability to support both aging in place and safeguarding against certain health issues, including falls.

At least at this point in time, Attain will not be for Aetna’s Medicare members, a spokesperson confirmed to Home Health Care News. That’s largely due to current rules and regulations, the spokesperson noted.

Those earlier reports specifically highlighted how Apple was in talks with private Medicare plans on ways to subsidize some or all of the Apple Watch’s cost for individuals 65 and older.

The Attain program will have four main pillars, according to Aetna: to help members achieve activity goals, to sustain everyday health, to enable personalized health notifications for key health moments and to allow for rewards.

At launch, healthy action notifications will include reminders to meet activity goals, get vaccinations such as the flu shot, notifications to refill medication prescriptions when they’re scheduled to run out, suggestions to visit a primary care physician if they have not had a recent office visit, and the availability of a lower-cost option for scheduled lab tests and imaging such as MRI scans.

Several home health providers have made medication reconciliation and management a priority, perhaps suggesting there’s overlap and future opportunity within Aetna, Apple and providers’ goals.

“We understand that you don’t need to be a personal trainer or work out several hours a day to be healthier,” Alan Lotvin, executive vice president of transformation for CVS Health, said in a statement. “We’re designing Attain to be personalized and clinically relevant to where each individual is in their health journey.”

Health data collected through Attain is encrypted, according to Aetna, and participating members can choose what information they share.

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