As part of the Apple agreement, CVS customers have temporary access to new fitness features

CVS Health has reached an agreement with Apple to offer customers, customers, and employees of the health giant temporarily free access to Apple’s new subscription-based fitness service.

• Beneficiaries participating in Aetna commercial plans or CVS Caremark prescription plans are offered a free one-year subscription to the feature called Apple Fitness +. CVS Pharmacy Extra Care members and all CVS employees will be offered a free two-month subscription following the launch of the service which began on Tuesday.

• The announcement coincided with the launch of Apple’s subscription service, which offers virtual fitness classes. The tech giant also released the latest model of its Apple Watch on Tuesday, which includes a new blood oxygen monitor.

Payers increasingly seek to differentiate themselves from consumers by offering a range of non-traditional benefits, including wellness and fitness features. After acquiring nearly $ 70 billion of Aetna nearly two years ago, CVS sought to combine its massive retail presence with complaints data from more than 20 million Aetna members to reduce costs.

Tuesday’s announcement signifies an expansion of the relationship between CVS and Apple. In 2016, 90% of participants in the Aetna Employee Wellness Allowance program reported health benefits from using an Apple Watch. Last May, Aetna launched an Apple Watch app called Attain, which combines wearables and rights data so users can set activity goals and other wellness milestones while receiving rewards for healthy behavior.

CVS’s diversified business portfolio has kept it relatively stable even in the coronavirus outbreak. The opening of 1,500 Health HUB locations, where one-fifth of the space will be available for healthcare products and services by the end of 2021, is still on track, although CVS halted renovations at some stores in March.

The healthcare giant moved 275 retail stores to Health HUB in late August, CEO Larry Merlo said at Morgan Stanley’s annual health conference on Tuesday morning.

Fitness + is Apple’s first training feature for its smartwatches that does justice to each individual based on fitness data. The subscription service will be available for $ 9.99 per month before the end of this year.

The product comes from wearable device manufacturers who are increasingly trying to find a balance between fitness tracking and broader health tracking capabilities. There have been conflicting studies as to whether wearables actually improve users’ health in the long term. However, that hasn’t stopped giants like Apple, Fitbit, and Samsung from aggressively seeking regulatory approvals for a number of features. Health surveillance. On Monday, Fitbit received the green light from the FDA for a new ECG app for its new line of watches.

Apple’s new device model, the Apple Watch Series 6, launched Tuesday, includes a new blood oxygen app that performs periodic measurements in the background using infrared technology, competing with similar features from Fitbit and Amazon Halo. . The tool is designed to help users monitor their cardiac and respiratory health.

Apple has joined the Seattle Flu Study, University of California Irvine, and Anthem to develop research studies on how to prevent depression, manage asthma effectively, as well as how small changes in the heart and blood vessels can serve as a warning. Diseases such as COVID-19. Fitbit is doing similar research.