Lifestyle Monitoring

Medicare, Healthy Aging and Apple Watch

How have you been monitoring your patients health? Office visits, monthly blood pressure checks? blood work yearly? There is so much more to do.......monitoring lifestyle habits like moving, sleeping, respiration and healthy eating could double your success rates with patients and position yourself as a true wellness success oriented practice!! Look at this..........United Healthcare made waves in early 2017 when it announced a new program, Motion, that would monetarily reward members for completing various health and wellness goals on their Fitbits. The program was innovative in both its use of technology and for its pay-for-performance incentive model. Now, more than two years later, another insurance company is pushing the envelope with a new tech-enabled incentive program—Medicare Advantage provider Devoted Health will begin subsidizing the cost of Apple Watches up to $150. With the cheapest Apple Watch now going for $199, this is an attractive proposition for Devoted’s members and an important new entry point into the aging market for Apple. 

Wearable health devices were already gaining in popularity when United announced its Motion program and, although Apple does not provide sales numbers for senior citizens (or any other demographic), theAARP had already taken notice of the potential of wearable health technology as far back as 2015, writing that “[contrary] to what you see on TV, wristbands that harness big data to measure steps, calories, heartbeats and more aren’t only for the 20-something triathlete or yoga instructor. Consumers 50-plus care about achieving positive health and avoiding illness and see potential in using activity and sleep trackers toward these goals.” There are, of course, important barriers to widespread adoption of the Apple Watch (and other wearable devices) among aging consumers that must also be addressed.