Though sales of the Apple Watch have fallen short of expectations, the wearable technology still could play a vital role in helping insurers actively engage members in their health, according to an article from the Motley Fool.
Apple already has put an increasing emphasis on healthcare-sector applications, and medical professionals already make use of the iPhone, the article notes. And as the Apple Watch gains more health-related sensors, it too, could gain traction in the healthcare space.
The $300 to $400 pricetag for an Apple Watch can deter some consumers from purchasing it, the article adds. But if the device can make Americans more aware of their health and help doctors identify issues early, it would make financial sense for large insurers to subsidize the technology and even include them as a part of their health plans.
Insurers already are starting to get on board with the health monitoring movement. Humana recently announced the debut of its new Humana Pharmacy app, which will allow its members, to get reminders to refill prescriptions and track their prescription orders through the Apple Watch. In March, UnitedHealth announced a new initiative that combines wearable technology with an app and a wellness program to help employers and employees alike save on healthcare costs.
In order for payers to fully be on board, however, the article says that Apple must make significant improvements to the watch's health-monitoring capabilities. It also must attract developers who will take advantage of the watch's platform, and it will need to convince doctors and hospitals of the benefits of using the technology.