Health Care

Aetna's Apple Watch App Aims to Personalize & Incentivize Digital Health

Aetna's Apple Watch App Aims to Personalize & Incentivize Digital Health”

Aetna, one of the US's largest health insurers, is wagering that an app and an Apple Watch can keep its members healthier. "We understand that you don't need to be a personal trainer or work out several hours a day to be healthier".

Participants will also receive "personalized health notifications" encouraging them to do such things as get a flu shot, refill medication prescriptions, and visit a primary care physician if it's been a while since their last visit. All Attain health data is 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 USA legal standards for health information. The more users exercise, engage in healthy activity, and get their hearts pumping, the more rewards they earn through the app. It uses the Apple Watch to help Aetna members hit their well-being goals and avoid negative health outcomes. "We're designing Attain to be personalized and clinically relevant to where each individual is in their health journey". Aetna has deep clinical experience assisting its members with their healthcare needs from wellness to chronic disease. Aetna also cited a study from RAND Corporation claiming an average activity increase of 34 percent when a "loss-framed incentive" like being forced to pay out of pocket for your ostensibly free Apple Watch was introduced.

Health insurance providers certainly have an incentive to improve their customers' overall health, as that could reduce the number of claims they have to pay out over long term. The two firms have been working collectively since 2016 on the Attain app, which will probably be out there within the spring of this year.

"We believe that people should be able to play a more active role in managing their well-being".

Other huge health insurers like UnitedHealth and Humana have similar programs.

"As we learn over time, the goal is to make more customized recommendations that will help members accomplish their goals and live healthier lives", Apple's chief operating officer, Jeff Williams, said in a statement. But Aetna's program is a bit different in that it's purporting to personalize fitness goals and health recommendations based on your data.

Aetna says the health data from the app will be stored in compliance with HIPAA regulations and that any information collected won't be used for making coverage decisions. CVS Health is community-based and locally focused, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it. It's part of a broader effort by health insurance companies to encourage people to improve their health and wellness to reduce their medical bills.

There are spots for about 250,000 to 300,000 of Aetna's 22 million members to start. 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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