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After the year we’ve had, it can be all too easy to feel emotionally and mentally overwhelmed. Thankfully, there has been growing awareness in the tech industry that our mental health contributes to our overall wellbeing as well. Fitbit was one of the first major wearable makers to integrate some form of relaxation feature in its products to help its users alleviate stress, and is continuing its efforts in the area by announcing a new partnership today.

It’s working with author Deepak Chopra to launch a “Mindful Method” service today as part of its Premium subscription service to provide more options for those looking to focus on their mental wellbeing.  

The “Mindful Method” is basically a package of wellness content like meditations and guided sessions offered exclusively on Fitbit Premium . Some of the content features Chopra himself, like a series called “A Day with Deepak Chopra,” while the others were curated by the guru. Starting today, 7 pieces of content are available, with Fitbit promising that the program will grow to feature more than 30 sessions across topics like stress management and mind-body connection. 

As a reminder, Fitbit Premium costs $9.99 a month and also offers access to personalized coaching and more than 200 audio and video workouts. While it’s nice to see the company partner with such a big name in the space to provide content focused on mental wellbeing, there’s still plenty of free stuff out there. If you’re already a Premium subscriber, this is probably good news for you. If not, this is unlikely to convince you to sign up unless you’re a big fan of Chopra. 

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Insurers launch pilot program aimed at getting 2 million American seniors vaccinated

Resident wait to receive a Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine at The Palace, an independent living community for seniors, at Coral Gables in Miami, Florida, United States on January 12, 2021.Eva Marie Uzcategui Trinkl | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

More than a dozen health insurers are launching a pilot program aimed at getting 2 million American seniors vaccinated as quickly as possible, President Joe Biden's senior advisor on the Covid-19 pandemic announced Wednesday.

The pilot program – called Vaccine Community Connecters – is designed to educate seniors on the vaccines, help schedule appointments for shots and arrange transportation, advisor Andy Slavitt told reporters during a White House news briefing.

Insurers will also talk about "vaccine efficacy, safety and the value of vaccination," said Slavitt, who also worked in the Obama administration, adding insurers may deploy mobile vans into communities most in need. The White House is working with America's Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association on the initiative.

"Vaccines save lives, and health insurance providers have been working hard to break down barriers that stand between Americans and COVID-19 vaccines," Matt Eyles, the CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, said in a press release. The trade group represents Aetna, Cigna and CVS Health.

"We will continue to work on that commitment with all levels of government and every organization that shares our goal until we defeat the COVID-19 crisis together," Eyles added.

The announcement comes as the Biden administration works to ramp up the supply of Covid-19 vaccines and get the majority of Americans as quickly as possible. Roughly 51.8 million out of some 331 million Americans have received at least their first dose of Covid vaccine, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And 26.2 million of those people have already gotten their second shot, representing about 10% of the total adult U.S. population, according to the CDC.

The risk for severe illness with Covid-19 increases with age, with older adults at the highest risk, according to the CDC.

Insurers will work with federal, state, and local leaders to deliver vaccines to underserved communities and closely collaborate with other vaccination partners, including pharmacies.

The trade group said some communities may best be served by mobile clinics, language assistance or a combination of interventions. Others will benefit from health insurance providers who partner directly with ride share services to provide transportation, the group said.

This isn't the first Covid-19 vaccine program tailored to seniors that the federal government has touted. In October, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a deal with CVS Health and Walgreens to administer coronavirus vaccines to the elderly and staff in long-term care facilities.

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