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Apple in Talks with Aetna to Bring Apple Watch to Millions of Customers

Apple AAPL and insurance company Aetna AET held a series of talks last week to discuss terms of giving the Apple Watch for free or at a discounted rate to Aetna’s 23 million customers.

According to CNBC, the invitation-only meetings took place in Southern California on Thursday and Friday. Top executives from Aetna and Apple attended, as well as hospital chief medical information officers from across the country.

Aetna already offers Apple Watches to its 50,000 employees as part of its corporate wellness program. The insurance company now wants to offer the device to its customers in order to promote a healthier lifestyle and to collect new health data.

The tech company has been working to make its watch a necessary health item to own. Apple currently has a team of biomedical engineers working to develop sensors that can noninvasively and continuously monitor blood sugar levels. If Apple succeeds in this venture, Apple Watches would greatly benefit people with diabetes.

Apple has also recently outpaced Fitbit FIT as a more popular wearable device company. In the second quarter of 2017, Apple stood in the number two spot, just behind Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi Corp, while Fitbit ranked third.

Investors seem pleased with this news as both company’s stock rose today. Aetna closed at $155.67, up 2.31%. Meanwhile, Apple gained 1.5%, closing at $159.85.

If this deal goes through, Aetna could roll out its plan as early as next year.

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