CVS Dangles Apple Watch as Lure to Keep Eye on Customers' Health

(Bloomberg) -- CVS Health Corp. has a new deal for its customers: In return for letting the company keep track of their activity, send them notices about refilling prescriptions and remind them to stay healthy, they might just earn an Apple watch.

The partnership with Apple Inc. is a part of the drugstore, pharmacy-benefits and insurance conglomerate’s effort to keep a closer eye on its customers, managing their health while making sure they keep using CVS’s services. For Apple, it’s a way to add new functions and customers for the popular wristwatch as the tech company touts its potential as a wellness tool.

The new app introduced Tuesday will be called Attain. It grew out of a collaboration between Apple and Aetna, the health insurer that CVS acquired last year for about $68 billion. Attain will track physical activity like steps and exercise, send health reminders about things like refilling prescriptions or getting a flu shot, and urge people to improve their wellness with steps such as getting more sleep or eating better. The app can be used on iPhones or on Apple watches.

In return, CVS customers will get credits that they can use to buy gift cards or help pay for Apple Watch.

While the app will collect location and activity data, that information won’t be used to make decisions about the insurance premiums and costs Aetna customers pay, CVS said in a statement Tuesday introducing the app.

Initially, the app will have data on users’ age, gender and weight, drawn from Aetna’s records. Recommendations the app sends to users will get more personalized as it gathers more information about their habits.

“As we learn over time, the goal is to make more customized recommendations that will help members accomplish their goals and live healthier lives,” Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams said in the statement

The Attain app will be available for download this spring, CVS said.

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