(Hong Kong, 17 December 2020) Prudential Hong Kong Limited (Prudential) and the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) today announced the survey results of “Prudential Hong Kong Smart Health COVID-19 Study 2020”, with people in Hong Kong being found to have attached great importance to physical and mental health under the COVID-19 pandemic. They have also increased their technology application on health management and shown demand for telemedicine services. The results facilitate the development of smart health in the community, while paving the way for Hong Kong to become a smart city.
The survey aims at studying the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic to the health and wellness of Hong Kong citizens, the changes of digital adoption on their lifestyle and health management; and the acceptance of telemedicine. It reveals that 83% of respondents considered health more essential than wealth and income during the pandemic, with the age groups of 20-34 recording the most significant change. It is also found that “convenience in daily life”; “work requirement” and “easy-to-use” have been the top three factors in driving the increase in the use of technology and mobile application. The most commonly used smart health applications are exercise tracker, such as step counting/running analysis (50%); then at-home exercise/self-exercise (38%); and heart-rate/pulse monitoring (31%). For respondents who have never used the applications before, more than 40% are most interested in trying out applications relating to one-stop health apps; health assessment or symptom checker, and dining and weight management.
The survey also explored local acceptance and demand for telemedicine. With about 90% of the respondents having heard about telemedicine, 46% of them either have used or are interested in using such application. The telemedicine services that respondents demonstrated their interest most are appointment booking, virtual queuing and payment (75%); prescribed medicine delivery (69%); and virus testing, express delivery of test kits and test results (63%). They also cited “no constraint on time and location”, “simple/convenient to use”, and “prefer to avoid high-risk areas to reduce infection risk” as the major reasons for their interest in using telemedicine services. However, some of them are deterred by technical issues, such as the accuracy of virtual diagnosis when compared with face-to-face consultation, data privacy concern, and unstable network connection that may affect screen sharing and audio quality.
Ms Priscilla Ng, Chief Customer and Marketing Officer, Prudential, said, “While the pandemic has prompted people to focus more on health, many of us tend not to take action until it is too late. Prudential aims to make healthcare more affordable and accessible. By leveraging health technology, we want to partner with everyone in their health journey to prevent, postpone and protect against the onset of diseases. We see a trend towards a preference for holistic digital health solutions in the market, witnessed by the rising interest in our all-in-one AI-powered digital health app, which has recorded over 500,000 downloads since its launch in Hong Kong earlier this year.”
Mr Edmond Lai, Chief Digital Officer of HKPC, said, “The pandemic has increased people’s adoption and dependence of technology and mobile applications. The survey results reflect rapid development in the concept of smart health management, creating huge market potential. Telemedicine services are deemed important by users, coinciding with the government’s call to explore the use of telehealth, videoconferencing and remote consultation in Hong Kong under the ‘Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong 2.0’. On top of continuing to provide GeronTech product testing and engineering consultancy services through the GeronTech Cluster, named “GLink”, HKPC is also planning to provide smart wearable testing service to industries, with the aim of helping developers to obtain more objective data to improve their technology, and encouraging them to strengthen cyber security elements in product design. We also proactively offer local enterprises diversified technology solutions to assist them in leveraging novel technology to combat the epidemic, so that they can achieve distance business and digital transformation, promoting the development of smart city in Hong Kong.”
Independently conducted by HKPC and sponsored by Prudential, the survey was undertaken from November to December 2020, with 1,516 Hong Kong citizens aged between 20 and 54 being interviewed. Quota sampling was adopted online interviews categorised by age range.
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