One of Apple’s well-known slogans is “Think Different,” and the company’s been hugely successful in using this philosophy to transform the markets it plays in. There’s reason to believe that this strategy will pay off when it comes to healthcare as well.
The company’s latest venture is a partnership with Aetna, part of CVS Health, to launch a new app dubbed Attain that harnesses the Apple Watch technology, and helps users measure and track their progress against their personal health goals. Employers offering Aetna coverage will be able to purchase access to the app for plan members, who can earn rewards for meeting their goals. The partnership gets even more interesting when you consider that CVS Health is itself a disruptor, with ambitious plans to create a new front door to health care.
This new offering, scheduled to go live this spring, combines Apple’s amazing consumer experience with the infrastructure of a major medical carrier and moves the tech giant one step closer to the employer-sponsored benefits arena. The implications at this point aren’t clear, but Apple has direct-to-consumer access to the more than 90 million Americans who own an iPhone — something few companies can claim. And other recent innovations demonstrate the company’s potential to shake up the healthcare industry:
- Wearable sensors in the Apple Watch are changing the conversation about how patients share data with their doctors, and how doctors monitor their patients. The latest version can detect heart arrhythmia.
- To improve consumer access to electronic health records – which has been problematic since EHRs were first introduced -- Apple introduced an app last year that lets patients see their health records on their iPhone. A dozen hospitals signed on for the launch, and the list keeps growing.
The Attain app, and Apple’s other plays into healthcare are a harbinger for bigger disruptions to come. How do you keep up with the latest innovations in benefits technology? Savvy employers will want to keep an eye on innovators like Apple — and learn to “think different” as they design their future benefit strategies.