Apple met with top health insurance providers about HealthKit partnership


New IBM cloud has the potential to take Health data to the next level. Photo: Apple
New IBM cloud has the potential to take Health data to the next level. Photo: Apple

Apple is nearly ready to become the go-to place for healthcare providers to get all your personal fitness data, and along with meeting with hospitals to talk about the benefits of HealthKit, Apple has been talking to the countries biggest health insurance providers about partnering with its health initiatives.

Profiling the new trend of companies incentivizing employees to wear fitness trackers to get lower health insurance premiums, Bloomberg says Apple is trying to get UnitedHealth and Humana onboard for HealthKit, although specifics about the talks aren’t mentioned.

“Apple which has new health-tracking software called HealthKit that will be released this year and is said to be developing its own wearable device, has talked with UnitedHealth, the biggest U.S. insurer, and Humana, about its health initiatives, executives at the insurance providers said.”

Along with coming to Apple for information on their customer’s health, insurance companies could become one of Apple’s biggest iWatch customers. The article notes a number of companies like BP, Time Warner, and AutoDesk have partnered with FitBit to give employees detailed feedback on their fitness.

Under the Affordable Care Act, companies can now spend as much as 30% of annual insurance premiums on rewards for healthy behavior, which is great news for Apple, FitBit, Jawbone Up and other fitness tracker companies. 22 million fitness-tracking devices will be sold in 2014, with 66 million sold by 2018, and about one third of those sales coming from corporate-wellness programs alone.

Apple’s HealthKit initiative rolls out to the public this fall with iOS 8. The new Health app provides users and healthcare providers with easy access to detailed fitness information on everything from steps walked, dietary calories, vitals, sleep analysis and more.