Apple Watch deal with Singapore government will pay people to live healthier lives

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Users can earn $280 in rewards for participating in the program.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch can help you get fit and live a healthier lifestyle. However, most of us have to pay for the honor. Things work a bit differently in Singapore, thanks to a new deal between Apple and the Singaporean government.

The program will hand out up to $280 in rewards for those who complete tasks on a dedicated app. Because, while good health is its own reward, who’s going to turn down some extra goodies?

Apple mentioned the partnership during Tuesday’s “Time Flies” keynote. But since then other information about the scheme has been announced. Tasks in the app will include carrying out meditation, yoga, and swimming sessions. Once the activities are recorded by the Apple Watch, users will be eligible for the rewards. The same program will offer rewards for goals such as improved food choices and getting immunizations. (And, to address any ethical concerns, participation in the program is completely voluntary.)

The program will commence in October. It is a two-year program carried out in associated with LumiHealth. It’s not clear from advance publicity whether there is any subsidy on people getting Apple Watches to participate.

“Even as all of us around the world are dealing with the challenges of COVID-19, we must keep investing in our future, ” said Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, in a statement. “This partnership between Singapore and Apple will enable Singaporeans to lead healthier lives, but equally important, it will contribute valuable insights to improving the health of people all over the world.”

Apple Watch and health goals

It’s an intriguing idea, and one I can definitely see gaining momentum in the years to come. This isn’t the first time Apple Watch has been used in a similar health-conscious way. Soon after the Apple Watch debuted, South African health insurer Discovery Health gave customers the ability to buy one for just $25 by hitting fitness-related exercise goals. If users missed their targets, their discount reduced. Meanwhile, insurance company UnitedHealthcare has offered customers the chance to pick up a free Apple Watch in exchange for walking 10,000 steps per day.

The value proposition in all cases is that, by incentivizing people to be healthier, governments and insurance companies lower the costs of things like operations, disability payouts and more that could accompany less healthy lifestyles.