By Judy Packer-Tursman
Apple and partners CVS Health Corp. and its Aetna business unit unveiled a new app — Attain — for Aetna members’ use with the Apple Watch, touting it as a sophisticated tool to reward such healthy behaviors as getting annual physicals, filling prescriptions and more.
“The possibility for how we can use these sorts of technology is limited only by the imagination,” said Alan Lotvin, M.D., CVS Health’s executive vice president of transformation. He said the companies were motivated by the idea of shifting health care, which is traditionally institution-driven, to be individual-driven.
Under the customized incentives program — to become available this spring to 250,000 to 300,000 Aetna plan members, to start — participants will get 10 points for meeting a calorie goal, 100 points for participating in a sleep challenge, 1,000 points for getting a flu shot, and so on, and the Apple Watch will track the individual’s progress toward weekly goals.
In 2016, Aetna gave free Apple Watches to about 50,000 of its employees and began to develop a new health app. As now configured, Attain combines an Aetna member’s health history with Apple Watch activity to create personalized goals, offering relevant tips and health challenges, and sending customized notifications for what are termed “key health moments.”
Citi analyst Ralph Giacobbe downplayed the Attain app’s uniqueness in a Jan. 29 note, noting the Apple/Aetna announcement “builds on other incentive programs including [UnitedHealth Group’s] Motion program where members can essentially ‘walk off’ the cost of an Apple Watch.”