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Aetna insurance will subsidize the Apple Watch

By |November 16th, 2016|Apple, HealthCare (mHealth & TeleHealth), Smart Watches|

http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/28/technology/aetna-apple-watch/

Aetna insurance will subsidize the Apple Watch

By Hope King September 28, 2016 10:13AM EDT

If you want an Apple Watch to keep track of your health, Aetna might help you pay for it.

The health insurance provider announced on Tuesday it will subsidize the cost of the device for some of its customers.

Aetna (AET) didn’t specify how much it would contribute to the cost, but noted it would be “a significant portion.”

The company highlighted in a statement it will be the first major healthcare insurance to offer such a programwhich begins this fall during open enrollment season.

There are no health requirements to qualify for the smartwatch, an Aetna spokesman told CNNMoney. Employers who use Aetna decide if they want to offer the Apple Watch program to employees.

The new Apple Watch Series 2 costs $369 for the aluminum body model and $549 for the stainless steel option. The Apple Watch Series 1 starts at $269.

Related: Apple Watch 2 — There’s finally a reason to buy a smartwatch

In addition to subsidizing the cost of the watch, Aetna will create several health apps for other iOS devices, such as the iPhone and iPad.

The apps will be released early next year and focus on helping people manage their medications, long-term care and insurance plans.

Apple (AAPLTech30) released a new version of its smartwatch earlier this month. Compared to the first generation, the Apple Watch 2 is geared much more toward fitness tracking.

The smartwatch is water resistant, so you can swim with it, and comes with built-in GPS. This means you no longer have to bring a phone with you on runs — it’ll track your routes remotely.

But unlike the Fitbit or Jawbone, the Apple Watch Series 2 doesn’t come with built-in sleep tracking. It’s a popular feature on other fitness devices and can help give you a bigger picture of your overall health.

Related: Hands on with the new Apple devices

Using personal gadgets to track health for insurance purposes is a growing trend.

In 2015, John Hancock started giving members a discount on life insurance if they shared health, location and body data, while Oscar Health offered its members a free Misfit fitness tracker

Apple Watch 2 Rumored to Include Cellular Connectivity

By |May 14th, 2016|Apple|

In a new article centered on the first-year sales of the Apple Watch, The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is working on including cellular network connectivity and a faster processor in the so-called Apple Watch 2.

There are relatively easy fixes for some concerns. Apple is working on adding cell-network connectivity and a faster processor to its next-generation Watch, according to people familiar with the matter.

The addition of standalone cell-network connectivity onto the wrist-worn device could bring some benefits to users, particularly those who are frustrated with the current generation’s heavy reliance on a tethered iPhone to provide basic iMessage and phone call functionality. Although such a feature would undoubtedly require an additional data plan, on top of one they might already have for both the iPhone and iPad, benefits like using GPS, making phone calls, and streaming Apple Music without an iPhone nearby could outweigh the cons for some users.

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The new hints given for the next-generation Apple Watch come on the heels of a collection of rumors that point to the upcoming version of Apple’s wearable gaining much-requested independence from the iPhone. Apple began implementing a third-party push for iPhone independency by announcing that all watchOS apps submitted to the App Storeafter June 1, 2016 will be required to be native applications.

Such updates to watchOS, which Apple introduced in watchOS 2, allow the wearable device to open apps more quickly and provide a smoother experience to users, instead of having to transmit data back and forth between a Bluetooth-connected iPhone. The mention of “a faster processor” in today’s report is something largely expected from a product update cycle by Apple, but it should compound the company’s efforts to introduce an all-around faster UI for the Apple Watch 2.

Using speculative analyst analysis, The Wall Street Journal also compared the first year of the Apple Watch to the first year sales run of the iPhone, from 2007 to 2008. The analyst estimate puts Apple Watch sales at 12 million units from its launch on April 24, 2015 to the same day in 2016. That number is double the original iPhone’s sales of 6 million units in its first year.

The latest rumors for the Apple Watch 2 conflict somewhat in regards to upgrade stats and release dates. One report has suggested that the new wearable will be 40 percent thinner and launch as soon as June, while a more recent research note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo points to only minor form factor changes and a heavier focus on internal improvements. Kuo predicted the Apple Watch 2 will launch in the fall, alongside the iPhone 7.

http://www.macrumors.com/roundup/apple-watch-2/