In an effort to help consumers over the age of 65 to use the Apple Watch as a health tracker, Apple has reportedly been in discussions with private Medicare plans. While no official arrangements have come out of the talks, the tech company was said to have visited many large and small players in the market, CNBC reported.
Those companies are said to be looking into subsidizing watches. While an older model’s price point begins at $279, newer watches sell for at least $399. The newer versions of the device, however, come with many features geared toward health, like an electrocardiogram and fall detection.
According to those with knowledge of the field, this age group could also be a good market for the Apple Watch. A2 Strategy Group Health Insurance Consultant Augustin Ruta said that “it’s the segment of health insurance with the highest dollar revenue and margin per member.” As it stands, roughly 19 million seniors are a part of private Medicare Advantage plans – and that figure is said to be on the uptick.
The news comes as Apple has hired many doctors in an effort to create and integrate health technologies in its devices, such as the Apple Watch, iPhone and iPad. According to previous reports, the move could indicate that the tech company is looking to develop applications to aid people who have medical challenges. Overall, Apple is said to have as many as 50 doctors onboard, spread out across different departments throughout the company.
Many of those doctors are said to be working on the Apple Watch, while others are said to be working on the health records group. Some doctors reportedly perform research as well as development work. Apple is not the only big company that has doctors on its roster, as reports indicate that Amazon has family physician Ben Green and cardiologist Maulik Majmudar. Alphabet, too, is said to have doctors stationed at its company.