Bloomberg‘s Adam Satariano has an interesting profile out this morning regarding the usage of wearable fitness devices in work environments. The report says that some companies are offering devices, such as the FitBit, in order to track the fitness of its employees. With that information, companies are able to slice costs off of insurance plans if employees hit certain fitness data thresholds:
Slagle’s experience is an example of how companies, facing rising health expenses, are increasingly buying or subsidizing fitness-tracking devices to encourage employees and their dependents to be more fit. The tactic may reduce corporate health-care costs by encouraging healthier lifestyles, even as companies must overcome a creepy factor and concerns from privacy advocates that employers are prying too deeply into workers’ personal lives.
The companies, of course, have to partner up with insurance providers to make this happen. Interestingly for Apple users, Bloomberg’s report says that Apple has talked with two of the United States’s largest insurance providers in regards to HealthKit:
Technology companies are taking note. Apple Inc. (AAPL), 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. The companies wouldn’t provide specifics about the conversations. Apple declined to comment.
As we know, Apple is launching the HealthKit and iOS 8 app as part of iOS 8 next month, and the Cupertino-company is also working on its own fitness and health monitoring wearable device. Perhaps these talks between Apple and the insurance companies indicate that an “iWatch/iBand” insurance-related play is in the cards for the future.