Apple is working with the Singaporean government to help keep the city-state’s nearly six million people healthy using the Apple Watch.
At the company’s virtual launch event on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook briefly introduced Singapore’s wellness program called LumiHealth, where residents can earn up to S$380 (around $280) worth of rewards for engaging in healthy activities including meditation, yoga, and swimming.
This is the first program of its kind, according to Apple, since a national government is offering its citizens financial rewards in exchange for adopting healthy habits over a two-year duration.
In addition, the app encourages people to take part in public health activities like getting immunized. It is possible that the app will encourage people to get a coronavirus vaccine once it becomes available. Wellness challenges will also encourage people to make better food choices and improve sleep habits.
“Even as all of us around the world are dealing with the challenges of COVID-19, we must keep investing in our future, ” said Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister. “This partnership between Singapore and Apple will enable Singaporeans to lead healthier lives, but equally important, it will contribute valuable insights to improving the health of people all over the world.”
Residents of Singapore will need an Apple Watch to participate in the national health initiative, and they’ll need to download the iPhone app called LumiHealth, from where a personalized wellness program is administered. Taking part in the two-year health program is voluntary, and will begin in October.
Apple and Singapore made it a point to emphasise that the LumiHealth app, was designed with “user privacy and security at its core.” All user data will be encrypted and securely stored, the iPhone maker said, and will not be shared for marketing purposes. The LumiHealth app was created in collaboration with a team of fitness and public health experts and is a result of the Singaporean government “soliciting proposals from international healthcare and technology companies on ways to enrich the lives and health of its population,” according to a statement from Apple.
Singapore has built a reputation for being a tech-savvy nation. Among a string other tech-driven initiatives, it was one of the first to release ato help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in the city-state this year.
In addition to its collaboration with the Singapore government, Apple also announced new iPads, the Apple Watch 6, and a Watch SE.