Aetna just threw in with Apple in a big way. The healthcare provider announced a number of different iOS-only apps aimed at quantifying wellness and streamlining the healthcare management process that are set to arrive early next year.
It’s also investing a ton in the Apple Watch, providing the wearable for all of its 50,000 or so employees (who are, naturally, enrolled in its own healthcare offerings) and offering a “significant” subsidy for customers during an upcoming enrollment period. The watch will be tied into Aetna’s wellness reimbursement plan, offering cash back based on customer activity levels.
The move makes Aetna the first major healthcare provider to offer a deal on this scale. Apple, naturally, is pleased. Here’s Tim Cook on the deal: “Aetna’s new initiatives will be a powerful force toward creating better customer experiences in health care, and we look forward to working with Aetna to make them successful.”
The news follows a doubling-down on health for Apple, including the addition of water resistance and built-in GPS on the most recent version of the Watch, aimed at helping the company step up its fitness tracking game. And last month, it was revealed that the company picked up software startup Gliimpse to further bolster is health-tracking capabilities.