Apple & Aetna team up for health-tracking 'Attain' program

Posted:
in Apple Watch
Aetna and Apple have partnered for the new Attain initiative, offering users tangible incentives to fill the rings and complete designated health tasks -- up to and including paying off an Apple Watch.

Aetna Attain on the iPhone
Aetna Attain on the iPhone


Aetna has announced the launch of Attain, a combination health tracker and reminder app designed by Aetna in collaboration with Apple. Through the use of an Apple Watch, the Attain app will provide Aetna members personalized goals, track daily activity levels, recommend healthy actions, and ultimately reward them for taking these actions to improve their well-being.

Reward opportunities include not just gift cards to retailers, but the ability for eligible users to earn their Apple Watch through their participation in the program.

Aetna is calling the Attain app the "first of its kind" with it "designed specifically to offer users a personalized experience that combines their health history with the power of the Apple Watch to help them achieve better health and well-being."

After users have joined Attain, they will have the additional option to share their Attain program data and health history with Apple anonymously, enabling Apple and Aetna to collaborate, and over time, continue to improve the Attain experience. Through analytics and machine learning, the collaboration will lead to new features in later versions of Attain.

"We believe that people should be able to play a more active role in managing their well-being. 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," said Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams. "As we learn over time, the goal is to make more customized recommendations that will help members accomplish their goals and live healthier lives."

Both Apple and Aetna confirm that the collected data will not be used to determine premiums, won't be shared by employees, and will never be sold. Data sharing is explicitly opt-in, and all data is encrypted not just at rest, but in transit in accordance with HIPPA restrictions. Two-factor authentication is mandatory for users.

The Attain app is expected to be available in the Apple App Store in Spring 2019. Interested Aetna members are encouraged to sign up at the portal page for the initiative to be notified when the App becomes available for download. AppleInsider has been informed that there will only be a limited amount of slots available for participants at launch.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    This is a good effort, but there are a number of hurdles here:  

    One is that many/most people (including physicians) do not associate a healthy lifestyle with health -- and instead look only at things such as age or medical markers such as blood pressure or cholesterol levels.  Physicians are trained and paid to prescribe pills, not exercise -- so they tend to marginalize exercise to their patients (even if they know better and do it themselves!)

    Another is that, for a 20 something, most of the health benefits of a healthy lifestyle don't show up for another 40 years.   So, the incentive for that demographic is more about appearance, sex appeal and performance.  But, at age 70 or 80 the difference between a lifelong exerciser versus a lifelong sitter are profound.

    And too:  The Apple Watch can't help with diet so, you end up with the guy exercising 5 days a week but remaining sick and over weight.   The simple fact is, You just can't outrun a pizza.

    That's not to trash this effort.   It's a good one and a necessary one.   But simply to point out that it's only one piece of a very complex sociological  puzzle.
    racerhomie32old4funFatmanAppleExposed
  • Reply 2 of 5
    FatmanFatman Posts: 218member
    This is a good effort, but there are a number of hurdles here:  

    One is that many/most people (including physicians) do not associate a healthy lifestyle with health -- and instead look only at things such as age or medical markers such as blood pressure or cholesterol levels.  Physicians are trained and paid to prescribe pills, not exercise -- so they tend to marginalize exercise to their patients (even if they know better and do it themselves!)

    Another is that, for a 20 something, most of the health benefits of a healthy lifestyle don't show up for another 40 years.   So, the incentive for that demographic is more about appearance, sex appeal and performance.  But, at age 70 or 80 the difference between a lifelong exerciser versus a lifelong sitter are profound.

    And too:  The Apple Watch can't help with diet so, you end up with the guy exercising 5 days a week but remaining sick and over weight.   The simple fact is, You just can't outrun a pizza.

    That's not to trash this effort.   It's a good one and a necessary one.   But simply to point out that it's only one piece of a very complex sociological  puzzle.
    Very good point. I think you just hit on something here - if the Apple 'rings' exercise tracker integrated meal tracking (and even sleep tracking), it would result in a more complete picture of an individual's health.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 3 of 5
    Fatman said:

    Very good point. I think you just hit on something here - if the Apple 'rings' exercise tracker integrated meal tracking (and even sleep tracking), it would result in a more complete picture of an individual's health.
    Sleep tracking might be susceptible to automation, but short of technology I'm not aware exists yet, tracking even just macro-nutrients would have to be manually done.  That's not to say it isn't a good idea, e.g. with something like MyFitnessPal doing the actual tracking, and the ring just reporting that, I just don't think it would be be automatic, like the existing rings mostly are.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 4 of 5
    eideardeideard Posts: 371member
    Aetna has always been open to supportive activities.  When I still lived in CT, I worked out at a fitness center and played on the club's squash team.  Always a highlight to go to Aetna and play their junior (and not so junior - like me) execs.  Yes, especially when we'd win.  They also turned their parklike grounds over to bicycle racing on Sundays.

    Though an Apple customer for quite a while, I didn't get an iPhone till the SE.  And it wasn't till I upgraded to a 7 that I did one of those "smack yourself on the forehead moments" when I discovered HealthKit.  A bit under 2 years ago.  Having a digital tracker in my pocket gave me easy access to recording, modifying, nutrition as well as goal-setting and recording progress.

    Took off 70 pounds.  Now weigh what I did at 16.  Bought a new weight bench.  Bluetooth headphones for my daily walks.  Having a ball!
    jasenj1GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 5 of 5
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 386unconfirmed, member
    Fatman said:
    This is a good effort, but there are a number of hurdles here:  

    One is that many/most people (including physicians) do not associate a healthy lifestyle with health -- and instead look only at things such as age or medical markers such as blood pressure or cholesterol levels.  Physicians are trained and paid to prescribe pills, not exercise -- so they tend to marginalize exercise to their patients (even if they know better and do it themselves!)

    Another is that, for a 20 something, most of the health benefits of a healthy lifestyle don't show up for another 40 years.   So, the incentive for that demographic is more about appearance, sex appeal and performance.  But, at age 70 or 80 the difference between a lifelong exerciser versus a lifelong sitter are profound.

    And too:  The Apple Watch can't help with diet so, you end up with the guy exercising 5 days a week but remaining sick and over weight.   The simple fact is, You just can't outrun a pizza.

    That's not to trash this effort.   It's a good one and a necessary one.   But simply to point out that it's only one piece of a very complex sociological  puzzle.
    Very good point. I think you just hit on something here - if the Apple 'rings' exercise tracker integrated meal tracking (and even sleep tracking), it would result in a more complete picture of an individual's health.

    Apple will innovate sleep tracking when they can get the Watch battery to last 3 days.
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