Singapore to reward residents for healthy habits with Apple Watch

All good? Apple boss Tim Cook has sounded optimistic that the trade war won't hit the iPhone maker. CREDIT: BLOOMBERG. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SINGAPORE, Sep 16, 2020, C|Net. 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 initiative, where residents can earn up to S$380 (around $280) worth of rewards for engaging in healthy activities including meditation, yoga, and swimming, C|Net reported.

The two-year health program is built around the Apple Watch and an iPhone app called LumiHealth from where a personalized wellness program is administered. Residents will need access to both in order to participate in the national health initiative, which begins in October. Taking part is voluntary.

The LumiHealth initiative is the first 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.

As well as hitting fitness goals, the app encourages people to make better food choices, improve their sleep habits, and 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.

“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.”

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 a national contact tracing app to 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.

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