The UnitedHealthcare insurance company of the UnitedHealth group has started to offer Apple Watch to its customers for free . The agreement involves the customer meeting certain daily activity targets in order to earn a bonus. With this initiative, Apple will be able to reach a group of people who are less aware of physical activity, according to what CNBC has learned.
If you walk enough, the Apple Watch is free
UnitedHealthcare is offering its policyholders a program called Motion starting in 2015. This initiative began by offering rewards to those who meet the daily goal of walking 10,000 steps. “Hundreds of thousands of employees are enrolled in the program through their companies,” they say from CNBC.
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This insurance company is the largest in the country, with approximately 50 million customers. The Apple Watch now joins other devices from brands such as Fitbit or Garmin in monitoring participants. Currently, the requirements to earn the maximum reward per day are:
- Frequency: requires completing 500 steps in less than seven minutes every hour, at least six hours a day.
- Intensity: requires completing 3,000 steps in less than 30 minutes, at least once a day.
- Tenacity: requires completing at least 10,000 steps each day in total.
If these goals are met, the insured can receive up to $4 per day for six months. The maximum that can be received as a reward during this period of time is $540 , enough to cover the cost of the Apple Watch Series 3 offered with the program (the difference is reduced from the policy). Customers must pay the purchase tax and the cost of shipping to their home.
One more step towards the expansion of the Apple Watch
These types of programs are very interesting for Apple. They allow the company’s watch to reach a user with a different demographic profile than the one that traditionally bets on the Apple Watch: people more or less interested in monitoring their activity and health.
With UnitedHealthcare’s offering, Cupertino’s company is entering a segment of the population that is less prone to and interested in physical exercise. For the insurance company, it means a cost, but less than the cost of treating people with sedentary lifestyles: obesity, diabetes, etc.
This is not the first time that we see a relationship between the Apple Watch and an American insurance company. In the summer of last year we learned that Aetna and Apple had private conversations on this same topic, although they have not materialized in a program like this one.
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In addition to expanding to other population segments through insurance companies , Apple has two other avenues of expansion. The first is through the Apple Watch Series 4, which incorporates improved sensors to detect accidental falls with warning to emergency teams, designed for people over 65 years.
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The second is through a study of patients operated on the hip and knee , both typical interventions in older people. These are two very important health concerns for older people.
As the generations of Apple Watch advance and their operating system improves, Apple is more comfortable trying new ways to improve the lives of its users. A very attractive value that in the future could make this device indispensable.
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