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Apple, Aetna hold meetings to bring Apple watch to millions more


Apple CEO Tim Cook displays his personal Apple Watch to customers at an Apple Store on April 10, 2015 in Palo Alto, California.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook displays his personal Apple Watch to customers at an Apple Store on April 10, 2015 in Palo Alto, California.

Apple and Aetna held a series of secret discussions last week to bring Apple’s health and fitness-tracking smartwatch to millions more people connected to Aetna, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The insurer, which covers 23 million, currently offers an Apple Watch to its 50,000 employees as part of its corporate wellness program. Now, Aetna is negotiating with Apple on a plan to offer a free or discounted Apple Watch, Apple’s wearable device, as a perk to its members.

The invitation-only meetings took place in Southern California on Thursday and Friday of last week, according to the people. Those in attendance at the meetings included executives from Aetna and Apple, as well as hospital chief medical information officers across the country.

Apple’s Myoung Cha, who has the title “special projects, health,” led the discussions, said one of the people. The move by Aetna is part of its push to increase customer interest in a healthier lifestyle and a better tracking of diet, said one of the people.

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