Apple and Aetna have held several secret meetings to discuss offering the Apple Watch to Aetna’s 23 million customers, according to CNBC.
These meetings, held on Thursday and Friday of last week in Southern California, reportedly involved top executives from both companies, including Myoung Cha, who is in charge of Apple’s special health projects, and hospital chief medical information officers from across the country.
Aetna could roll out the plan as early as next year, according to a CNBC source.
We’ve reached out to both Apple and Aetna and will be sure to update you if and when we hear more. So far Aetna has declined to comment.
This is not the first time Apple has joined up with the health insurance company. Aetna already offers the Apple Watch to its 50,000 employees. Aetna also announced last September it would be offering the Apple Watch to select large employers and these talks could be an extension of that announcement.
Aetna now reportedly has ambitions to offer it to a wider field — adding large swaths of new health data to pull from and giving the health insurance company insight into the activities of its customers.
The deal also would be beneficial to Apple, which heavily promotes the Apple Watch for health and fitness and briefly became the top wearable vendor this year, beating out Fitbit before Xiaomi took the top spot in Q2.
Apple also has been secretly hiring biomedical engineers and beefing up work on sensors for tracking blood sugar levels and detection of other diseases, which would come in handy for any health insurer wanting data-driven insights into its customer base.
Of course, whether customers will be willing to give up that information in exchange for the Apple Watch remains to be seen.