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Study shows Apple Watch health insurance deals yield substantial increase in exercise

Over the last year, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of health insurance providers offering Apple Watch-based incentives to clients. One of those providers is Vitality Insurance, which recently conducted a study on how much offering tangible rewards can motivate people to increase their level of exercise.

As reported by the Financial Times, Vitality drew its insights from data gathered through 400,000 people. Adrian Gore, Vitality Insurance founder, explained that devices such as the Apple Watch have a “remarkable opportunity to make society healthier.”

For the study, participants paid an upfront cost of £99 for the Apple Watch Series 4 or £9 for an Apple Watch 3. From there, they were burdened with a monthly charge of £12.50 – but that charge varied depending on how much exercise they performed. Those recording the most exercise through their Apple Watch did not have to pay any monthly fee.

Gore explained that this model creates “loss aversion,” meaning that participants were motivated to stay active, otherwise they could lose their free access to Apple Watch.

Rand Europe, a non-profit research institute, was commissioned to conduct the study by Vitality. Over a two-year period, users of the Apple Watch performed an average of 34 percent more activity, which equates to 4.8 extra days of activity per month.

Regarding the study, Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams remarked that the results are “an exciting indicator of how much more we can achieve.”

Just earlier this month, UnitedHealthcare started rolling out a promo that allows customers to earn a free Apple Watch so long as their activity numbers reach certain benchmarks. John Hancock has offered a similar promo.

In addition to exercise and insurance benefits, Apple Watch Series 4 is set to add ECG functionality in the near future. It was reported earlier today that the ECG application will come to Apple Watch Series 4 as part of watchOS 5.1.2, which is currently in beta testing.

What do you think of insurance companies offering Apple Watch-based promotions and discounts? Does your insurer offer any such promotion? Let us know what you think down in the comments below.

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Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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