IBM and Apple's relationship will be strengthened and bridged through the Apple Watch, where the computer hardware company will link its Watson supercomputer to an upcoming app on the wearable device. As part of its Commit to Health program, IBM will provide free or discounted Apple Watch units to its staff.
Depending on the health plan, IBM employees will be able to get a free Apple Watch or a subsidy that will cut down the wearable's price. This plan will follow up on IBM's Fitbit initiative, and it won't be replacing Fitbit.
IBM employees enrolled in the Fitbit program are able to collect points by tracking their fitness progress, and those points can then be traded in for various items or donations.
IBM is not the only company to implement such programs, as several companies also adopted ones in an attempt to not only improve the overall health of their employees but to also decrease healthcare costs.
Meanwhile, Denver-based firm Welltok will develop the Apple Watch app, which is called CafeWell Concierge. Users will be able to ask health-related questions and details about the health benefits of IBM.
The developers intend to improve the app's personalization features and even add in a Dialog feature to allow it to start interactions with the wearer. CafeWell Concierge will also remind users to take medicine on time and give out recommendations about where to eat healthy food, get a flu shot or buy medicine.
"An IBM Watson-powered app that interacts with consumers to provide dynamic, personalized guidance for optimized health," Welltok posted on its website.
A consumer-ready version of the app will roll out in 2016. For now, it will be available to IBM employees only.
It seems that the Apple Watch won't just be used to get employees to sign up for the program, as it also encourages wearers to move around and exercise every once in a while and meet their fitness goals. Along with the CafeWell Concierge app, the wearable tech will be able to improve a lot of people's lifestyle.
Photo: William Hook | Flickr