Aetna In Talks with Apple to Provide Apple Watch to its Customers

Do you have an Apple Watch? If you are an Aetna customer, your insurance company may soon provide one for you. It has been reported that Apple and Aetna have held secret meetings to discuss the possibility of providing Apple Watches to Aetna’s 23 million customers as early as next year. Based on its health and fitness tracking functionalities, offering Apple Watches to insurance customers is a valuable way for Aetna to gather data about their activities. Naturally, it will be interesting to see whether Aetna customers will be willing to give Aetna access to their personal activity data in exchange for the watch. Apple has also been hiring biomedical engineers in the attempt to develop sensors for tracking blood sugar levels and for detecting other diseases, which eventually would provide additional valuable data to insurance companies.

Read more about Aetna and the Apple Watch at TechCrunch


TRI Analyzer Turns Your Smartphone into a Medical Diagnostic Tool

Apple is not the only one working to bring medical diagnostic functionality to mobile devices. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Champagna-Urbana have developed the TRI Analyzer, a mini-medical laboratory that plugs into your smartphone. The TRI Analyzer uses the smartphone’s flash and camera functions to process users’ blood, saliva, or urine samples. Although the TRI Analyzer would retail at around $550, it is cheaper than the thousands of dollars that most lab tests cost. Besides being cheaper, the mobility of the TRI Analyzer makes it an ideal tool to take in the field to run lab tests in ambulances, rural locations, and on battlefields.

Read more about the TRI Analyzer at FastCompany


Amazon’s Instant Pickup Offering is a New Take on Classic Vending Machines

Vending machines have come a long way since the days of scrounging for quarters and dollar bills to purchase a candy bar or soda. Just when we thought using a credit card at a vending machine was an innovative idea, now Amazon has upped the ante. Amazon’s newest offering, Amazon Instant Pickup is a modern take on the vending machine concept, minus the actual machine for college campuses. Customers use the Amazon app to scan the barcode of what Amazon defines as impulse, need-it-now purchases like snack items, drinks and phone chargers. Once the order is submitted, an Amazon employee fills an instant pickup locker with the items and the customer can pick up the order within minutes. Although Amazon has not released detailed pricing information, in some cases ordering items through Amazon Instant Pickup could be cheaper than ordering via Amazon.com.

Read more about Amazon Instant Pickup at Business Insider


No Customer Support? 47% of Mobile Users Would Delete Your Retail App

Today, mobile users are savvy enough to expect a quality mobile experience from their favorite retail apps. But, what happens when apps experience performance issues? Do brands have dedicated customer support teams that are supporting apps and making sure customers can use the apps? Well, according to a survey by Helpshift and Radius Global Market Research, nearly half of users (47 percent) will delete a problem app that does not have customer support. As mobile developers, testers and QA professionals know, there are consequences to having low-quality, badly performing apps, like decreased customer satisfaction and loss of revenue. But, perhaps what is the most interesting finding, is that 89 percent of respondents said that they would recommend an app that was problematic if they were, “proactively contacted inside an app by a customer support agent if they were experiencing a problem.” Clearly, a testimonial of the power of good, dedicated customer service.

Read more about this surveys’ findings in relation to mobile and retail at RetailDive


Cue the Applause: Hamilton App Gets Over 500K Downloads in First Three Days

It appears that the hottest ticket in town has now produced the hottest mobile app in town. The smash-hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” has now released its own mobile app for iOS and Android devices. The app’s intention is to give “Hamilton’s” dedicated fans unprecedented access via mobile to the show and the brand and to engage with its loyal fan base. To develop the app, Broadway marketing and social media agency, Marathon Live Entertainment worked with Google and NYC-based digital product design and development studio, Posse to create a cutting-edge app experience. This team built the app using Google’s Flutter framework and other native technologies and leveraged cross-platform solutions to reduce the amount of code that would need to be written, testing and managed. The “Hamilton” app marks the largest commercial implementation of Flutter to date. And if you still have not been able to score tickets to see “Hamilton,” then the app makes entering lotteries for tickets easier than ever.

Read more about Hamilton’s mobile app leveraging Google Flutter at Broadway World