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The Apple Watch Series 4. Photo: James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Apple’s steady march into consumer health care continues: It’s partnering with Aetna to fold Apple Watches and iPhones into the insurer’s wellness programs, CNBC’s Christina Farr reports.

The big picture: Apple’s health care goals seem clear, and it has picked its spots at least as well as any other tech company looking for a slice of the health care system. It’s focused squarely on patient data, and on partnerships with big, established players.

  • Apple’s foray into electronic medical records has gotten mostly good reviews, and the company has pursued a potential deal to help the VA modernize its records.
  • Since introducing some heart-monitoring capabilities for Apple Watch last year, Apple has embraced several partnerships to get its watches around more wrists. One tests the watch as a health monitor for people who have had hip or knee replacements.
  • Apple also wants private Medicare Advantage plans to offer subsidized watches to their members, to use as health monitors.
  • That’s roughly the same proposition in Apple and Aetna’s new partnership: Aetna customers could use their existing Apple Watch, or Aetna would give them one and they’d "pay it off" by meeting health goals. Or, if they fall short of those goals, they might have to pay it off with real money, per CNBC.

Be smart: None of this seems likely to revolutionize the health care system, but no company has much of a plan to revolutionize the health care system. Apple, unlike some of its competitors, at least has a clear path to profiting from that system.

Go deeper: Health is Apple's next really big thing

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
5 mins ago - Energy & Environment

White House moves against "super-pollutant" in climate fight

Photo: Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images

The EPA is finalizing rules today that cut powerful greenhouse gases used in air conditioning and refrigeration, part of a wider new White House strategy to deter these "super-pollutants" and boost manufacturing of substitutes.

Why it matters: The EPA regulation is the U.S. part of a planned global phase-down of chemicals called hydrofluorocarbons. The global phaseout can prevent up 0.5 °C of global warming by 2100, the White House said.

FBI report likely to show record increase in murders in 2020

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If the FBI data released next week shows what's expected — that 2020 saw the highest single-year spike in U.S. murders in at least six decades — experts say the sudden job losses, fears and other jolts to society at the start of COVID-19 will likely have been the overwhelming drivers.

Why it matters: Many Democrats already feared that rising crime could hurt their party in the 2022 midterms.

38 mins ago - Health

Some experts see signs of hope as COVID cases fall

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

New coronavirus cases are continuing to decline, and some experts are cautiously optimistic that the virus will continue to wane even into the fall and winter.

The big picture: The next few months are highly uncertain, and some localized outbreaks are all but guaranteed. But the U.S. is at least moving in the right direction again.