On the Many Virtues of Health-Centric Technology: A Vitality Perspective

By Daniel Kotzen

One needn’t look further than the Apple Watch byline to understand its purpose centered around helping “[…] you stay even more active, healthy, and connected.” The virtues of the Apple Watch as a facilitator of physical activity, especially when paired with the right incentives, is well-trodden terrain for Vitality. The success of its Vitality Active Rewards with Apple Watch program has proven that when one pairs the right science, technology and incentives, one is able to generate material and sustained behavior change.

However, Apple’s launch of the Apple Watch Series 4 cements the company at the forefront of health technology innovation, not only as a tracking and productivity tool, but a proactive, predictive and protective device for the wearer. With the shift from light-based heart monitors to the more accurate ECG-based system, larger screens, fall detection and associated emergency SOS functionality, and the enhanced Breathe app, the device facilitates healthy daily behaviors while guarding against dreaded life events. In short, it provides more peace of mind for the wearer and his or her loved ones.

This functionality is essential for all Vitality members in serving our core purpose of making people healthier, and enhancing and protecting their lives, centered around:

  • Health Tracking and Prediction: Not only are individuals able to track their health, but the Apple Watch is able to detect arrhythmias, ensuring that individuals are less likely to go undiagnosed with deadly conditions. The built-in ECG functionality has already received FDA clearance.
  • Facilitating Social Connectivity: With the cellular functionality, the Apple Watch allows members to remain connected to their friends and family at the tap of a button, which is crucial at older ages. UX enhancements make contacting loved ones through the Apple Watch face simpler.
  • Peace of Mind for Loved Ones: The fall detection and SOS functionality ensures that friends and family can rest easy in the notion that the Apple Watch has their loved one covered in the event of an emergency. The fact that the Apple Watch does not possess the negative connotations typically associated with such emergency devices is an added benefit, as older adults are more likely to use it.
  • Leading Activity Facilitator with Intuitive Design: Apple Watch is a market leader in generating appealing and intuitive products that drive individuals to improve their behavior. This is particularly important for older adults who might require prompts or reminders to engage in healthy activities, whether that be standing, walking, or – in some instances – training for their next marathon.

We are delighted that Apple continues to deliver on health-centric technology that helps us in designing products that assist all members with protecting their present and their futures. We look forward to leveraging Apple Watch’s comprehensive health suite in our next generation of Vitality product offerings.


Daniel Kotzen, Product Analytics Manager, loves storytelling in its many forms – from statistical analyses and infographics to art and restaurants reviews.

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