Apple, Aetna hold meetings to bring Apple watch to millions more

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The move could be a boon in sales for Apple Watch, which now offers health and fitness-tracking as its primary usage. Apple Watch recently overtook Fitbit as the top-selling wearable tracker, with shipments reaching 22 million for the first three months of 2017, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. The next version will reportedly have a new design and wireless connectivity, allowing it to connect to the internet without a nearby iPhone.

As CNBC previously reported, Apple is quietly developing new health sensors that would make its devices a “must have” for millions of people with chronic disease. It has a secret team working on adding continuous and noninvasive blood sugar monitoring to its hardware, which would be a game-changer for diabetics.

One of the people said Aetna’s proposed timeline is slated for early next year.

Apple’s rival Fitbit has sold its fitness trackers to companies for years in a bid to improve health outcomes and lower costs. Bloomberg initially reported that Aetna would be the first insurer to offer Apple Watch to its employees in 2016.

“This is a logical step for Apple’s broader distribution of their watch, and this type of partnership has been on their radar from the beginning,” said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, an advisory firm that specializes in technology.

Apple and Aetna declined to comment.

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Natalia Camp

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