• Daniyar Kylyzhov

Singapore will pay its citizens to wear Apple Watch

The Singapore government will reward citizens to wear Apple Watch as part of its national health promotion program. Participants in the program will be able to receive about $ 280 in gift certificates that can be exchanged at select malls and stores.

To receive the reward, Singaporeans will need to download and use an app called LumiHealth, which will hit the App Store in October, and sign up for the program. The award is for activities such as meditation, walking, swimming, sleeping, and getting vaccinated.

Participants can also sign up for wellness competitions and participate in games designed by doctors and fitness experts. The exercises are designed with factors such as age, gender, and weight in mind, so athletes will not compete with people who are just starting to monitor their health.

By marking their activity for a two-year period, users can receive up to $ 280 in gift certificates from participating stores. Considering that the price of the budget watch Apple Watch SE starts at $ 279, compliance with the terms of the program will cover almost the entire cost of the device.

“We must continue to invest in our future and there is no better investment than our own health,” Singaporean Prime Minister Heng Swee Keith told CNBC. "This partnership will enable Singaporeans to lead healthier lives and make a valuable contribution to improving health for people around the world."

Singapore was the first country to launch such a program with the Apple Watch. In the US, Apple is working with private insurance companies on health tracking initiatives but has yet to enter into any agreements with the federal government.

This is not the first time Singapore has invested in wellness programs. In August 2019, the country's government struck a deal with Fitbit, under which residents of the country could get a smartwatch for free if they subscribe to a year of premium services at a cost of $ 30 per month. The government is also using technology to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Last week, small tokens equipped with a QR code and Bluetooth connection that can be worn around the neck began to be distributed in Singapore. These tokens will allow residents without smartphones to participate in TraceTogether, the government's coronavirus case tracking program, which launched in March. Currently, about 40% of the Singapore population has downloaded the TraceTogether app; the government targets a 70% participation rate.

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