What Apple and Aetna discussed about Apple Watch last week

“Apple and Aetna conducted a series of meetings late last week to discuss the next step in their partnership, as reported by CNBC,” Christina Farr reports for CNBC. “The primary topic of discussion was Apple’s health-tracking smartwatch — Apple Watch — and whether it could be used to improve health outcomes. Currently, Aetna is gathering feedback from its own employees, who are currently testing whether the watch can help them eat better and exercise more regularly.”

“Mandi Bishop was among a small group of digital health influencers invited to the event,” Farr reports. “Chief medical officers from various health systems and a select group of Aetna employees were also invited, with Apple’s Myoung Cha presiding over many of the discussions.”

“Bishop recalled that a huge portion of the event involved discussions about data privacy. ‘Both companies wanted to make sure that we knew what data is shared and what isn’t,”‘she said,” Farr reports. “For its part, Apple has repeatedly stressed that health data can only be shared with user consent. And these policies extend to third-party apps for iPhone and Apple Watch.”

“One complaint [about the Apple Watch from users] was the lack of situational awareness, such as a reminder to move when a user was on a long flight, or an alert to meditate in the middle of a conference call,” Farr reports. “‘Everyone wanted the technology to be totally seamless,’ she said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, this Aetna Apple Watch deal pans out in a big way.

And, yes, we get annoyed when, for example, our Apple Watches tell us to stand while we’re driving. The Watch knows we’re going 85 miles per hour… the speed limit, so why is is asking us to stand when we’re obviously seated in a car? Also, as we wrote back in June 2015:

We want watchOS to recognize a repetitive activity or exercise (for example, crunches) and automatically prohibit Apple Watch’s display from turning on and off until the repetitive motion ceases. For 100 crunches, the Watch should turn on the first three reps, realize what’s going on, and remain off for the other 97, not blinking on and off for 100 reps as it does now.

With the sensors onboard, and the fineness of watchOS’s current and already-excellent “Activate on Wrist Raise” capability, this is a feature that seems doable, saving a bit of battery life and much user annoyance in the process.

Make the Watch smart, Apple. Right now, during certain exercises, it seems a bit stupid, or at least oblivious as to what the user is doing. (No, Watch, we’re not checking the time one hundred times every two seconds!)

By now, watchOS should be smart enough to use Apple Watch’s sensors to stop asking you to stand while you’re driving or flashing its display on and off during sit-ups.

Apple and Aetna hold secret meetings to bring Apple Watch to the insurer’s 23 million members – August 14, 2017
In major win for Apple, Aetna becomes first insurance company to subsidize Apple Watch – September 27, 2016
New ‘SweatCoin’ iPhone app pays people to get fit – May 5, 2016
Why you’ll wear an Apple Watch to keep your job – March 14, 2016
Share your fitness data for an Apple Watch – or cash – March 2, 2016
Tim Cook hints Apple might build a health device – November 10, 2015
Apple should double down on Apple Watch’s health sensors, battery life, and waterproofing – October 2, 2015
Health insurer will charge more for lazy people, less for active people, based on Apple Watch sensors – September 18, 2015


  1. Hmm why don’t you just put it in theater 🎭
    mode so that you can control when the screen comes on?
    If only people would just learn the features of the
    This tip is available on 47 different YouTube
    videos. hhmm

  2. Cook is doing business with bad Aetna but refuses to do business with bad Alt-Right. Double standard. Should stop doing business with Aetna too.

    1. Aetna has money. Alt-right not so much. AETNA has 23 million medical members who may have the watch included in their plan. 23MM @ $300 a pop is $6.9 billion. Alt-right maybe 100,000.

  3. I wish they would just use the sensors in the iPhone to realize my iPhone is in my pocket and not turn on overtime I stand up.

    This was a feature when Steve showed us the iPhone but at some point it was lost, drives me nuts and kills my battery.

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