Keeping a finger on the pulse of health


  • Insurance
  • Friday, 09 Aug 2019

Health check at your fingertips: (from left) PruBSN acting CEO Wan Saifulrizal Wan Ismail, Prudential Services Asia ecosystem implementation chief officer Wong Eng Teng, Prudential group chief digital officer Al-Noor Ramji, Wells, Dr Dzulkefly, Prudential Corp Asia chief executive Nic Nicandrou, Prudential Corp Asia insurance chief executive Lilian Ng and Prudential Malaysia CEO Gan Leong Hin at the launch in Putrajaya.

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian consumers will be the first in the region to experience Pulse by Prudential, a free digital health management app aimed at boosting inclusive health and wellness in the country.

The app, which facilitates easier and more convenient access to reliable medical information for the public through the use of artificial intelligence (AI), was launched yesterday in Putrajaya by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad and Prudential Plc group chief executive Mike Wells.

With a holistic approach in supporting the three stages in a person’s health journey – prevent, postpone and protect – the app’s goal is to seamlessly integrate personal health checks and management into everyday life by providing users with mobile tools and real-time information for on-the-go access.

Users of the app, for instance, can engage an AI chatbox to talk through their symptoms to provide health-related information to raise their awareness and understanding of personal health.

Wells said: “Pulse marks a change in health management in Asia by making healthcare more inclusive and accessible.

“By supporting users in every step of their health and wellness journey, Prudential is going beyond its core business of providing protection and playing a greater role in helping people prevent and postpone the onset of diseases.”

For Prudential, Pulse brings value-add to its business in various dimensions. Leveraging digital technology, the British insurance giant is looking at the app to deepen its relationship and engagement with all its stakeholders including existing and potential clients, as well as closer alignment with the country’s social and health policy, among other reasons.

“Given the size and scale we have in the countries we’re in, we have to be giving back and be seen as a valued part of the societies we’re in. It improves the brand recognition, but more importantly the brand reputation and it’s good for everything else we do, ” he explained, adding that there is potential for app users to become future Prudential clients.

Malaysia is one of Prudential’s largest markets with 2.3 million customers and ranks among the top countries for mobile smartphone penetration. In 2018, the insurance company registered RM1.5bil in new business sales here.

Moreover, the digital health initiative taps into the sweet spot that aligns corporate social responsibility with business goals, which Wells described as a “great space for everyone involved”.

The app’s key features leverage the capabilities of various international and local healthcare startups, leading to one of the more successful examples of corporate-startup collaborations.

Pulse’s healthcheck and symptom checker is powered by Babylon Health and personalised wellness service by Tictrac, both London-based startups. It also offers Malaysian startup DoctorOnCall’s online medical consultation service and the dengue outbreak prediction platform of US-based startup AIME.

The healthcare startups bring scalable technological innovations to the table, while Prudential provides its global strength in aspects such as regulatory frameworks, distribution and compliance to create a healthy business relationship.

Furthermore, Wells revealed that Prudential invests heavily in technology on a global level, amounting to £800mil (RM4bil) a year.

On security and data privacy concerns, he assured users that the app’s healthcheck is compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

He opined, “With technology moving so fast, we need to be ahead of policy in data privacy, because we’re not interested in trading trust.”

Pulse is described as an evolving platform where Prudential will continue adding new partners, tools and value-added services in phases. For its next iteration of Pulse, Prudential is working to introduce new functions, one of which is in the area of chronic illness management, in line with current health trends and the needs of the population.

Other areas on the roadmap for Prudential clients in the app include enabling digital customer fulfillment and claim submissions, policy enquiry and notifications on policy expiry.

At the moment, its clients will be able to locate the panel hospitals closest to them and consult a board-certified doctor via video or audio through the app for free. The latter service typically costs RM10 for a 15-minute consultation for normal users.


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