Malaysians fond of digital healthcare devices, leading region adoption

OUT of 13 Asian markets surveyed in a new research commissioned by Prudential Corporation Asia, Malaysia came up top as the leader in terms of adopting digital healthcare services, with Malaysians believing they will be more reliant on technology in the future to improve their personal health and wellbeing.

The Pulse of Asia – The Health of Asia Barometer written by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ultimately highlights the opportunity for Governments to partner with the private sector in order to maximise the potential of digital healthcare.

From the survey, over half (54%) of the respondents in the region believe that medical care is accessible and affordable.

More concerningly, less than a quarter (22%) say they can easily access fitness facilities that would help improve their personal health and wellness in the coming year.

However, the Asia-wide research also underlines the potential of technology to directly combat these challenges.

Malaysia showed a slightly higher acceptance to digital tools and technology, with 25% expecting to use a digital platform and 21% expecting to use a smart watch to manage their health.

Meanwhile, 25% of Malaysians said that they would consider using a digital platform that uses artificial intelligence to diagnose or manage their health.

Furthermore, the majority of respondents (72%) in Malaysia find health-related information available from smartphone health apps useful.

“The COVID-19 pandemic serves as a daily reminder of the importance of healthy living and has created more awareness about the causal link between lifestyles and disease.

“The findings of this research underscore the importance of taking proactive measures to improve personal health which will continue to be a priority for Malaysians in 2021 and they seek convenient and affordable solutions to help them do so,” said Prudential Assurance Malaysia Bhd CEO Gan Leong Hin.

Additionally, 81% of the respondents said technology has already improved their access to health services and 60% believe it has improved the affordability.

However, 69% of them agree that financial constraints will make difficult for them to take measures to improve their personal health and wellness despite financial constraints, with two-thirds of Malaysians being optimistic that their health will be better in 2021.

This shows that the people’s affinity for health technologies across markets in Asia, such as blood pressure monitors, smart watches, smart body temperature thermometers, wearable fitness trackers etc.

Apart from devices, other aspects of utilised digital health included online services connecting people to doctors and other providers of health advice, covering advice on disease prevention across the region. – March 22, 2021

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