Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Now Own at Least One Apple Product

A new survey conducted by CNBC has found that 64 percent of Americans own an Apple product of some kind, a number that's increased from 50 percent in a similar survey published in 2012. The average American household owns 2.6 Apple products, which is "up by a full Apple product" from the previous survey. The All-America Economic Survey polled 800 people across the United States in late September, and CNBC said that the survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


Apple device ownership rates dip below 50 percent in the 2017 survey for Americans with incomes under $30,000, retirees, and women over the age of 50. CNBC reported that the "wealthiest Americans" own 4.7 Apple products per household, while the "poorest" have one. Other statistics include 3.7 devices per household in the West of the United States, while households in the South owned 2.2 devices on average.
"I cannot think of any other product — especially any other product at a high price point — that has that kind of permeation with the public and level of growth,'' said Jay Campbell, pollster with Hart Research, which conducted the survey along with Public Opinion Strategies.
64 percent of those surveyed claimed that the time they spend on an iPhone is "mostly productive and useful," while 27 percent said that it's "mostly unproductive." On average, the time spent on an iPhone was "dominated" by phone calls, emails, and texting, followed by social media. Most Americans surveyed said that they were less likely to spend time watching videos, playing games, and shopping on their iPhone.
Campbell said it could be people are understating how much they use their phones for entertainment and how much time they waste. "But overall," he said, "it continues to be the case that the smartphone is really helping the American worker, helping the American family be efficient with their time and really accomplish more than they could otherwise and I think people recognize and appreciate that."
In a separate study conducted by Piper Jaffray earlier in 2017, it was found that 76 percent of teens polled owned an iPhone, increasing from 69 percent in the same period a year prior. 81 percent of teens also said that they plan to purchase an iPhone as their next smartphone, up from 75 percent in 2016. Piper Jaffray's survey polled 5,500 teens in the United States with the average age of 16.


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Apple Aiming to Bring Apple Watch to 23 Million Aetna Subscribers

Apple and Aetna are discussing ways to offer discounted Apple Watch models to millions of consumers with Aetna insurance, reports CNBC. Citing people with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site says Apple and Aetna held discussions last week that included senior officials from Apple, Aetna, and several hospitals.

Aetna already offers a program that provides the Apple Watch at no cost to its 50,000 employees and subsidizes the cost for some subscribers, but the insurance company is said to be negotiating with Apple to offer a free or discounted Apple Watch to all Aetna members.

Apple's Myoung Cha, who has the title "special projects, health," led the discussions, said one of the people. The move by Aetna is part of its push to increase customer interest in a healthier lifestyle and a better tracking of diet, said one of the people.
Aetna is said to be aiming to implement some kind of program early in 2018, and its goal seems to be an expansion of plans that were announced back in September. At that time, Aetna said it was planning to subsidize the cost of the Apple Watch for large employers and individual customers.

Aetna also said it would develop several iOS health initiatives with "support" from Apple, offering "deeply integrated" health apps for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch to Aetna customers.

The company's plan to offer discounted or free Apple Watch models to subscribers comes as Apple is on the verge of introducing a third-generation Apple Watch. Rumors suggest the upcoming device features an LTE chip that allows it to be decoupled from the iPhone and there's also a possibility we'll see a redesign.

We expect to see the third-generation Apple Watch introduced alongside new iPhones in September.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3, watchOS 4
Tags: cnbc.com, Aetna
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Apple Working With Health Gorilla to Offer Comprehensive Medical Records on iPhone

In its quest to turn the iPhone into a comprehensive health repository for every iPhone user, Apple has teamed up with Health Gorilla, a company specializing in aggregating diagnostic information, reports CNBC.

Citing two sources familiar with Apple's plans, CNBC says Apple is working with Health Gorilla to add diagnostic data to the iPhone by cooperating with hospitals, imaging centers, and lab-testing companies. According to Health Gorilla's website, the startup offers a secure clinical network that aggregates health data from a range of providers, offering doctors and hospitals access to a comprehensive overview of a patient's health.

While the service is aimed at medical providers, patients are also able to use the service to get a copy of their medical records "in 10 minutes."

Access your complete health profile in one place, from prior medical history, to doctor and specialist referrals, to your latest test results. It's all available through Health Gorilla's secure clinical network, anytime - from your computer or your favorite device on the go.

Thousands of physicians, specialists, labs, clinics, health centers, hospitals, and other facilities are already connected to Health Gorilla. Reach them easily, and securely share information with everyone in your care circle - whether medical professionals or family and loved ones.
Last week, CNBC said Apple has a "secretive team" within its health unit that has been communicating with developers, hospitals, and industry groups with the aim of storing clinical data on the iPhone and turning it into a "one-stop shop" for medical info.

Apple wants to create a centralized database for all of a person's health data, which would allow the medical community to overcome existing barriers that often prevent or complicate the transfer of patient data between providers, ultimately resulting in better care for patients.

Through Health Gorilla, the Health app on the iPhone could perhaps include a range of data sourced directly from different health providers in the future, offering up blood work results, x-rays, physical therapy information, and more.

In addition to allegedly working with Health Gorilla, Apple is also said to have hired several developers familiar with the protocols dictating the transfer of electronic health records, and it has also talked with several health IT industry groups dedicated to universal medical records, including The Argonaut Project and The Carin Alliance.

Integration of detailed health records would make the Health app, which already aggregates medical data and health information from the Apple Watch and other connected devices, an even more valuable resource for iPhone users.


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Apple Has ‘Secret’ Team of Biomedical Engineers Developing Sensors for Non-Invasively Monitoring Blood Glucose

At a nondescript office in Palo Alto, Apple is rumored to have a small team of biomedical engineers researching better methods for monitoring blood sugar, reports CNBC.

Apple's work on glucose monitoring is said to have started with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who wanted to develop a sensor that could continuously and non-invasively monitor blood sugar levels to improve quality of life. Apple is far enough along in its research that feasibility trials are being conducted at clinical sites in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it has hired consultants to sort out regulatory issues.
The glucose team is said to report to Johny Srouji, Apple's senior vice president of hardware technologies. [...]

One of the people said that Apple is developing optical sensors, which involves shining a light through the skin to measure indications of glucose.
Rumors of Apple's work on advanced healthcare initiatives like diabetes management aren't new. Early Apple Watch information suggested the wearable device would be able to measure things like blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

Many health-related sensors that Apple wanted to include in the original Apple Watch were reportedly dropped because the technology was not consistently accurate, but rumors at the time said Apple would pursue its work on more advanced health sensors. Apple has also made several health-related acquisitions and around the time the Apple Watch was in development, hired dozens of biomedical experts.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has since said that Apple does not want to put the Apple Watch through the FDA approval process, something that would need to happen for more advanced healthcare features, so it is not clear if this is a feature Apple foresees being added to the wrist-worn device. From Tim Cook in 2015:
"We don't want to put the watch through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process. I wouldn't mind putting something adjacent to the watch through it, but not the watch, because it would hold us back from innovating too much, the cycles are too long. But you can begin to envision other things that might be adjacent to it -- maybe an app, maybe something else."
If Apple is planning on more advanced sensors for the Apple Watch, such features are not likely to be included in the third-generation device rumored to be coming in the fall of 2017. Information on that device thus far points towards a smaller update focusing on improving battery life and perhaps adding features like cellular connectivity.

While Apple works on its in-house own blood sugar monitoring solution, it has launched CareKit, a platform that allows app developers to create integrated software that allows patients and doctors to better manage medical conditions. Diabetes monitor One Drop was one of the first companies to support CareKit.


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