Apple Watch data privacy, cost main concerns in Apple and Aetna partnership

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited August 2017
In a meeting earlier this month, Apple, Aetna and a number of industry influencers discussed the viability of offering Apple Watch to millions of health insurance subscribers at a discount, but according to one attendee, sticking points remain.




On Monday, it was reported that Apple and Aetna held a two-day conference to talk about potential partnerships with major hospital chains looking to improve health awareness through wearable technology platforms like Apple Watch. Aetna is evaluating whether to offer the device to its 23 million customers.

Additional details of the meeting surfaced on Thursday. According to Mandi Bishop, the head of digital health startup Lifely Insights who attended the gathering, data privacy was a major concern for all involved parties, CNBC reports.

"Both companies wanted to make sure that we knew what data is shared and what isn't," Bishop said of Apple and Aetna.

Aetna is currently running an internal pilot program to better understand what benefits, if any, Apple Watch offers in promoting exercise and better eating habits. Employees testing the device asked whether gathered data could be shared with third-party vendors or offloaded into other apps.

As can be expected, Apple "repeatedly stressed" that Apple Watch data, such as steps taken and heart rate information, is only shared with user consent. Currently, certain Apple Watch data can be accessed by apps integrating HealthKit and ResearchKit APIs, which adhere to the same user privacy rules.

Unit cost was another topic of discussion. Notably, Aetna employees enrolled in the pilot program want to purchase Apple Watch units for family members but are unable to bear to afford additional devices. Cost remains an unresolved issue and it is not clear whether Aetna intends to extend employee, and potentially subscriber, discounts to family, the report said.

Finally, some testers brought up complained that Apple Watch lacks situational awareness. As noted in the report, users might receive notifications to meditate when in a meeting or a stand reminders when on a long plane flight. These complaints speak to an ongoing push for a completely seamless user experience in which Watch gathers information about its environment and reacts accordingly. Though Apple owns a number of patents that could help in this regard, the cutting-edge technology requires infrastructure that is likely not ready for consumer adoption.

Apple and Aetna are aiming to roll out an Apple Watch program for subscribers in 2018, according to prior reports. The insurance company began to offer Watch discounts to select users last year as part of a program that also furnished 50,000 Aetna employees with free units.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,388member
    I wish we'd see more companies attach themselves to devices that help with fitness tracking. It can be argued that Tim Cook's comments that the Apple Watch helped him lose 30 pounds was just for marketing, but my anecdotal experience is that these devices and their various features—including the sharing option so friend can motivate you and vice versa—has helped me become more fitness oriented. You still need to establish habits and grit, but the daily and historical data, and the Watch informing you when you're nearing and making a milestone are useful tools for promoting healthier fitness habits. I look forward to what the future holds for this nascent device.
    watto_cobraRacerhomieXGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 2 of 20
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,151moderator
    When iPhone is in Airplane mode, disable Stand notifications.  There, fixed that for you, Apple.  (Patent pending.)
    watto_cobra[Deleted User]
  • Reply 3 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,388member
    When iPhone is in Airplane mode, disable Stand notifications.  There, fixed that for you, Apple.  (Patent pending.)
    I don't understand. I've never seen Stand notifications on my iPhone.
  • Reply 4 of 20
    Soli said:
    I wish we'd see more companies attach themselves to devices that help with fitness tracking. It can be argued that Tim Cook's comments that the Apple Watch helped him lose 30 pounds was just for marketing, but my anecdotal experience is that these devices and their various features—including the sharing option so friend can motivate you and vice versa—has helped me become more fitness oriented. You still need to establish habits and grit, but the daily and historical data, and the Watch informing you when you're nearing and making a milestone are useful tools for promoting healthier fitness habits. I look forward to what the future holds for this nascent device.
    Apple Watch helped me sweat of 19 pounds. Making the consistent effort to close all three rings and drinking 3 liters of water daily went a long way to dropping the pounds. 
    Solifotoformatwatto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 5 of 20
    This is just crazy. Aetna wants to know if Apple is going to protect user's privacy. Seriously, most of the world's smartphones run Android and almost no one cares about Google sucking all their personal data for use. You mean to tell me that Aetna is never going to deal with devices running Android OS? I find that hard to believe. Over a billion people using Android OS are happy to hand over their data for Google's free services. Microsoft even said that users are willing to give them all the personal data they want.  Does anyone ever hear Apple getting praised for protecting user's privacy?  Nope.  Analysts usually claim that's Apple's greatest disadvantage.  So, if Aetna doesn't trust Apple with privacy then I wonder what other tech company they can turn to.

    Android OS will never lose market share based on people's concern over privacy. Apple actually seems a tad overprotective about privacy. Analysts are always saying how Apple should grab more user's information to improve Siri. Look at Facebook. Its main purpose is to get people to share practically everything they do and they supposedly have 2B users happily coughing up personal data. If the average joe was really concerned about privacy, it wouldn't be possible for Android OS to have 90% global market share and Facebook wouldn't be one of the top FANG stocks. All the FANG stocks are great at sucking user's personal information on a daily basis. No one is outraged by any of it. All the companies that harvest user data are Wall Street's favorite companies.
    edited August 2017 iqatedowatto_cobraRacerhomieX
  • Reply 6 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,388member
    This is just crazy. Aetna wants to know if Apple is going to protect user's privacy. Seriously, most of the world's smartphones run Android and almost no one cares about Google sucking all their personal data for use. You mean to tell me that Aetna is never going to deal with devices running Android OS? I find that hard to believe. Over a billion people using Android OS are happy to hand over their data for Google's free services. Microsoft even said that users are willing to give them all the personal data they want.  Does anyone ever hear Apple getting praised for protecting user's privacy?  Nope.  Analysts usually claim that's Apple's greatest disadvantage.  So, if Aetna doesn't trust Apple with privacy then I wonder what other tech company they can turn to.

    Android OS will never lose market share based on people's concern over privacy. Apple actually seems a tad overprotective about privacy. Analysts are always saying how Apple should grab more user's information to improve Siri. Look at Facebook. Its main purpose is to get people to share practically everything they do and they supposedly have 2B users happily coughing up personal data. If the average joe was really concerned about privacy, it wouldn't be possible for Android OS to have 90% global market share and Facebook wouldn't be one of the top FANG stocks. All the FANG stocks are great at sucking user's personal information on a daily basis. No one is outraged by any of it. All the companies that harvest user data are Wall Street's favorite companies.
    They apparently discussed many topics. I don't think it's outrageous to ever discuss security or to get contractual assurances (with penalties if those assurances aren't met) when discussing a multi-million dollar deal. The argument, "we're better than Google" simply isn't good enough. Imagine going into a dealership and asking about the safety rating of a car and being told, "we're better than a Ford Pinto."
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 7 of 20
    It's only because of the Apple Watch that I have started exercising regularly. I think it is the most useful Apple product for me, after the iPhone.
    SoliGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 8 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,388member
    It's only because of the Apple Watch that I have started exercising regularly. I think it is the most useful Apple product for me, after the iPhone.
    Unnecessary, yet indispensable.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 20
    There's an insurance company in the UK (Vitality) that offers an apple watch for just £69 and depending on your activity each month, the payments beyond that are between £0 and £12.50 per month. Brilliant idea imho, nothing encourages folks like a financial incentive. Sit on your arse and it'll cost you £369 all in, hit 160points (regular gym sesh etc.) than it's yours to keep at just £69.

    I dare say an active, healthy user also gets a discounted premium on the insurance side too.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 838member
    This is just crazy. Aetna wants to know if Apple is going to protect user's privacy. Seriously, most of the world's smartphones run Android and almost no one cares about Google sucking all their personal data for use. You mean to tell me that Aetna is never going to deal with devices running Android OS? I find that hard to believe. Over a billion people using Android OS are happy to hand over their data for Google's free services. Microsoft even said that users are willing to give them all the personal data they want.  Does anyone ever hear Apple getting praised for protecting user's privacy?  Nope.  Analysts usually claim that's Apple's greatest disadvantage.  So, if Aetna doesn't trust Apple with privacy then I wonder what other tech company they can turn to.

    Android OS will never lose market share based on people's concern over privacy. Apple actually seems a tad overprotective about privacy. Analysts are always saying how Apple should grab more user's information to improve Siri. Look at Facebook. Its main purpose is to get people to share practically everything they do and they supposedly have 2B users happily coughing up personal data. If the average joe was really concerned about privacy, it wouldn't be possible for Android OS to have 90% global market share and Facebook wouldn't be one of the top FANG stocks. All the FANG stocks are great at sucking user's personal information on a daily basis. No one is outraged by any of it. All the companies that harvest user data are Wall Street's favorite companies.
    some of us care passionately about our privacy...so no android, FB & minimal Google.

    but you are right about Wall Street, they don't understand a company that sells products that make people happy and delight them.  they value companies that lock people into crappy services and data mine them.
  • Reply 11 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,295member
    This is just crazy. Aetna wants to know if Apple is going to protect user's privacy. Seriously, most of the world's smartphones run Android and almost no one cares about Google sucking all their personal data for use. You mean to tell me that Aetna is never going to deal with devices running Android OS? I find that hard to believe. Over a billion people using Android OS are happy to hand over their data for Google's free services. Microsoft even said that users are willing to give them all the personal data they want.  Does anyone ever hear Apple getting praised for protecting user's privacy?  Nope.  Analysts usually claim that's Apple's greatest disadvantage.  So, if Aetna doesn't trust Apple with privacy then I wonder what other tech company they can turn to.

    Android OS will never lose market share based on people's concern over privacy. Apple actually seems a tad overprotective about privacy. Analysts are always saying how Apple should grab more user's information to improve Siri. Look at Facebook. Its main purpose is to get people to share practically everything they do and they supposedly have 2B users happily coughing up personal data. If the average joe was really concerned about privacy, it wouldn't be possible for Android OS to have 90% global market share and Facebook wouldn't be one of the top FANG stocks. All the FANG stocks are great at sucking user's personal information on a daily basis. No one is outraged by any of it. All the companies that harvest user data are Wall Street's favorite companies.
    Exactly!   Google could care less about user privacy (actually, they're in negative numbers on that score).  That's likely one reason why Aetna chose Apple to partner with.

    But, in the healthcare industry, personal privacy is a MAJOR concern.  It's the law:  HIPAA
    But, this initiative adds a newer privacy concern to it:   Would you want your company, healthcare or life insurance provider looking over your shoulder to see if you closed your rings today or got in your 30 minutes or polished off a pepperoni pizza?
  • Reply 12 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,388member
    This is just crazy. Aetna wants to know if Apple is going to protect user's privacy. Seriously, most of the world's smartphones run Android and almost no one cares about Google sucking all their personal data for use. You mean to tell me that Aetna is never going to deal with devices running Android OS? I find that hard to believe. Over a billion people using Android OS are happy to hand over their data for Google's free services. Microsoft even said that users are willing to give them all the personal data they want.  Does anyone ever hear Apple getting praised for protecting user's privacy?  Nope.  Analysts usually claim that's Apple's greatest disadvantage.  So, if Aetna doesn't trust Apple with privacy then I wonder what other tech company they can turn to.

    Android OS will never lose market share based on people's concern over privacy. Apple actually seems a tad overprotective about privacy. Analysts are always saying how Apple should grab more user's information to improve Siri. Look at Facebook. Its main purpose is to get people to share practically everything they do and they supposedly have 2B users happily coughing up personal data. If the average joe was really concerned about privacy, it wouldn't be possible for Android OS to have 90% global market share and Facebook wouldn't be one of the top FANG stocks. All the FANG stocks are great at sucking user's personal information on a daily basis. No one is outraged by any of it. All the companies that harvest user data are Wall Street's favorite companies.
    Exactly!   Google could care less about user privacy (actually, they're in negative numbers on that score).  That's likely one reason why Aetna chose Apple to partner with.

    But, in the healthcare industry, personal privacy is a MAJOR concern.  It's the law:  HIPAA
    But, this initiative adds a newer privacy concern to it:   Would you want your company, healthcare or life insurance provider looking over your shoulder to see if you closed your rings today or got in your 30 minutes or polished off a pepperoni pizza?
    If "personal privacy is a MAJOR concern" then why answer "Exactly!" to a comment that says that Aetna making security a "major concern" is "just crazy"?
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 13 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,295member
    This could be the first step in the transformation of our DiseaseCare Industry into what it bills itself to be:  our Healthcare Industry.

    Today, authoritative estimates are that we spend 70-80% of our $3Trillion dollars in annual healthcare spending to treat chronic disease (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, etc) that could have been prevented or substantially delayed with healthy lifestyles:  diet, exercise and stress reduction.

    This initiative will never come from the providers (large hospitals, etc...) because they are profit driven and their profit comes neither from healthy people nor from dead people.   It comes from those in the middle; the walking dead:  the obese guy with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, angina and prostate cancer.

    Insurers though actually pay for those treatments and have a financial incentive to reduce them.   And, there is only one feasible, socially acceptable way to reduce them:   promote health over disease treatment.  The Apple Watch could be one of the keys to both unlock that door health and to validate the research that shows that it does reduce both disease and health care spending...
  • Reply 14 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,388member
    This could be the first step in the transformation of our DiseaseCare Industry into what it bills itself to be:  our Healthcare Industry.

    Today, authoritative estimates are that we spend 70-80% of our $3Trillion dollars in annual healthcare spending to treat chronic disease (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, etc) that could have been prevented or substantially delayed with healthy lifestyles:  diet, exercise and stress reduction.

    This initiative will never come from the providers (large hospitals, etc...) because they are profit driven and their profit comes neither from healthy people nor from dead people.   It comes from those in the middle; the walking dead:  the obese guy with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, angina and prostate cancer.

    Insurers though actually pay for those treatments and have a financial incentive to reduce them.   And, there is only one feasible, socially acceptable way to reduce them:   promote health over disease treatment.  The Apple Watch could be one of the keys to both unlock that door health and to validate the research that shows that it does reduce both disease and health care spending...
    If non-invasive glucose monitoring was coming to this year's Watch I feel like we would've heard about it, but maybe not because it could just be a more advance sensor that already exists for checking heart rate

    Are there any other proactive or preventative health-related features that come to the Watch this year or in within the next few years?
  • Reply 15 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,295member
    Soli said:
    This is just crazy. Aetna wants to know if Apple is going to protect user's privacy. Seriously, most of the world's smartphones run Android and almost no one cares about Google sucking all their personal data for use. You mean to tell me that Aetna is never going to deal with devices running Android OS? I find that hard to believe. Over a billion people using Android OS are happy to hand over their data for Google's free services. Microsoft even said that users are willing to give them all the personal data they want.  Does anyone ever hear Apple getting praised for protecting user's privacy?  Nope.  Analysts usually claim that's Apple's greatest disadvantage.  So, if Aetna doesn't trust Apple with privacy then I wonder what other tech company they can turn to.

    Android OS will never lose market share based on people's concern over privacy. Apple actually seems a tad overprotective about privacy. Analysts are always saying how Apple should grab more user's information to improve Siri. Look at Facebook. Its main purpose is to get people to share practically everything they do and they supposedly have 2B users happily coughing up personal data. If the average joe was really concerned about privacy, it wouldn't be possible for Android OS to have 90% global market share and Facebook wouldn't be one of the top FANG stocks. All the FANG stocks are great at sucking user's personal information on a daily basis. No one is outraged by any of it. All the companies that harvest user data are Wall Street's favorite companies.
    Exactly!   Google could care less about user privacy (actually, they're in negative numbers on that score).  That's likely one reason why Aetna chose Apple to partner with.

    But, in the healthcare industry, personal privacy is a MAJOR concern.  It's the law:  HIPAA
    But, this initiative adds a newer privacy concern to it:   Would you want your company, healthcare or life insurance provider looking over your shoulder to see if you closed your rings today or got in your 30 minutes or polished off a pepperoni pizza?
    If "personal privacy is a MAJOR concern" then why answer "Exactly!" to a comment that says that Aetna making security a "major concern" is "just crazy"?
    "Exactly" -- because mentioning anything Google and privacy in the same sentence is an oxymoron....
  • Reply 16 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,295member
    Soli said:
    This could be the first step in the transformation of our DiseaseCare Industry into what it bills itself to be:  our Healthcare Industry.

    Today, authoritative estimates are that we spend 70-80% of our $3Trillion dollars in annual healthcare spending to treat chronic disease (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, etc) that could have been prevented or substantially delayed with healthy lifestyles:  diet, exercise and stress reduction.

    This initiative will never come from the providers (large hospitals, etc...) because they are profit driven and their profit comes neither from healthy people nor from dead people.   It comes from those in the middle; the walking dead:  the obese guy with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, angina and prostate cancer.

    Insurers though actually pay for those treatments and have a financial incentive to reduce them.   And, there is only one feasible, socially acceptable way to reduce them:   promote health over disease treatment.  The Apple Watch could be one of the keys to both unlock that door health and to validate the research that shows that it does reduce both disease and health care spending...
    If non-invasive glucose monitoring was coming to this year's Watch I feel like we would've heard about it, but maybe not because it could just be a more advance sensor that already exists for checking heart rate

    Are there any other proactive or preventative health-related features that come to the Watch this year or in within the next few years?
    Actually, while Glucose monitoring would be a wonderful addition to the AW -- it is not by itself preventative.   From a Type 2 Diabetes standpoint, it is simply monitoring an existing lifestyle related chronic disease.   The only way it would be promoting health rather than treatment of a disease is if it encouraged a healthy lifestyle (such as a healthy diet and exercise) that would prevent or reverse the disease.  And for that, the AW could be helpful by demonstrating the healthy impact (lower glucose levels) from closing those damned rings every day!
    ... So, yes -- but indirectly...

    As for your last point:   I think the AW is already the best product around at promoting all around physical activity and daily exercise as well as stress reduction.   But, I see it refining, improving and expanding those areas -- especially as it gains input and feedback from healthcare professionals outside of the Apple umbrella.

    In short, health comes mostly from how a person lives their life (rather than a physician treating a disease).  And, the Apple Watch is at the top of the heap in terms of gadgets that promote a healthy lifestyle -- but that is pretty much an untapped and unexplored area.  I look at much more and much better in the future....
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 17 of 20
    Sounds like a great plan to utterly destroy Apple's brand: allowing its devices to be "forced" on workers through employer-paid health coverage (i.e., choose Plan A for $0 and get a free AppleWatch that uploads to the Plan about your health until/unless you become a liability to the Plan, or choose Plan B and we'll deduct $300/mo from your paycheck and we'll simply highlight this "risk" in each of your future reviews).  No, let FitBit have that market...they don't have an iPhone business to preserve and we're going way beyond keeping people hooked on the iPhone with accessories when you start doing things like this!

    If they want to help make the world healthier, get iCloud between the consumers of food and those who serve it --not just in terms of ordering, paying and delivery but also nutritional information, consumption and quality tracking ("I saw that you ordered a pizza an hour ago, how many slices did you eat? Touch the number of stars you gave it.") so that you can give expert advice the next time around ("You should probably consider ordering chicken because you ate several pounds of pizza last week. Shall I order chicken instead of pizza?").
  • Reply 18 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,295member
    Sounds like a great plan to utterly destroy Apple's brand: allowing its devices to be "forced" on workers through employer-paid health coverage (i.e., choose Plan A for $0 and get a free AppleWatch that uploads to the Plan about your health until/unless you become a liability to the Plan, or choose Plan B and we'll deduct $300/mo from your paycheck and we'll simply highlight this "risk" in each of your future reviews).  No, let FitBit have that market...they don't have an iPhone business to preserve and we're going way beyond keeping people hooked on the iPhone with accessories when you start doing things like this!

    If they want to help make the world healthier, get iCloud between the consumers of food and those who serve it --not just in terms of ordering, paying and delivery but also nutritional information, consumption and quality tracking ("I saw that you ordered a pizza an hour ago, how many slices did you eat? Touch the number of stars you gave it.") so that you can give expert advice the next time around ("You should probably consider ordering chicken because you ate several pounds of pizza last week. Shall I order chicken instead of pizza?").
    Currently we spend 70-80% of our $3trillion of healthcare spending treating the symptoms of preventable, lifestyle related chronic diseases.   How much longer can we afford that?  Putting an Apple Watch on every wrist might be a good start!

    And, by the way, the apps to monitor diet that you suggest already exist in the app store.  I've used them and they worked surprisingly well...  
  • Reply 19 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,388member
    Soli said:
    This could be the first step in the transformation of our DiseaseCare Industry into what it bills itself to be:  our Healthcare Industry.

    Today, authoritative estimates are that we spend 70-80% of our $3Trillion dollars in annual healthcare spending to treat chronic disease (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, etc) that could have been prevented or substantially delayed with healthy lifestyles:  diet, exercise and stress reduction.

    This initiative will never come from the providers (large hospitals, etc...) because they are profit driven and their profit comes neither from healthy people nor from dead people.   It comes from those in the middle; the walking dead:  the obese guy with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, angina and prostate cancer.

    Insurers though actually pay for those treatments and have a financial incentive to reduce them.   And, there is only one feasible, socially acceptable way to reduce them:   promote health over disease treatment.  The Apple Watch could be one of the keys to both unlock that door health and to validate the research that shows that it does reduce both disease and health care spending...
    If non-invasive glucose monitoring was coming to this year's Watch I feel like we would've heard about it, but maybe not because it could just be a more advance sensor that already exists for checking heart rate

    Are there any other proactive or preventative health-related features that come to the Watch this year or in within the next few years?
    Actually, while Glucose monitoring would be a wonderful addition to the AW -- it is not by itself preventative.
    Are you sure that there's no way to use how glucose levels jump and recede to estimate who might be at risk of developing Type II?
  • Reply 20 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,295member
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    This could be the first step in the transformation of our DiseaseCare Industry into what it bills itself to be:  our Healthcare Industry.

    Today, authoritative estimates are that we spend 70-80% of our $3Trillion dollars in annual healthcare spending to treat chronic disease (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, etc) that could have been prevented or substantially delayed with healthy lifestyles:  diet, exercise and stress reduction.

    This initiative will never come from the providers (large hospitals, etc...) because they are profit driven and their profit comes neither from healthy people nor from dead people.   It comes from those in the middle; the walking dead:  the obese guy with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, angina and prostate cancer.

    Insurers though actually pay for those treatments and have a financial incentive to reduce them.   And, there is only one feasible, socially acceptable way to reduce them:   promote health over disease treatment.  The Apple Watch could be one of the keys to both unlock that door health and to validate the research that shows that it does reduce both disease and health care spending...
    If non-invasive glucose monitoring was coming to this year's Watch I feel like we would've heard about it, but maybe not because it could just be a more advance sensor that already exists for checking heart rate

    Are there any other proactive or preventative health-related features that come to the Watch this year or in within the next few years?
    Actually, while Glucose monitoring would be a wonderful addition to the AW -- it is not by itself preventative.
    Are you sure that there's no way to use how glucose levels jump and recede to estimate who might be at risk of developing Type II?
    It would be helpful!
    But I still don't consider it "Preventative".   Instead, it's just early detection.  For me, prevention means actually preventing the disease -- and currently the only way to do that is through diet and exercise.  
    BTW, some believe that there is no actual hard line between pre-diabetes and diabetes.  Instead, they consider pre-diabetes to be just milder form of the disease.
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