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Press release

Asia-Pacific consumers, especially Gen Z, are taking greater ownership in health and well-being, Bain survey finds

Asia-Pacific consumers, especially Gen Z, are taking greater ownership in health and well-being, Bain survey finds

  • abril 02, 2024
  • min read

Press release

Asia-Pacific consumers, especially Gen Z, are taking greater ownership in health and well-being, Bain survey finds

SINGAPORE – April 3, 2024 – More consumers in Asia-Pacific are proactively managing their health and well-being, as revealed in Bain & Company’s Asia-Pacific Front Line of Healthcare 2024 report launched today. About 85% of survey respondents indicated interest in healthcare maintenance and lifestyle changes, six percentage points higher than the previous 2021 survey.

The biennial report seeks to understand opportunities and challenges in the evolving Asia-Pacific healthcare landscape and includes a 2023 Bain & Company survey covering 2,300 consumers across nine markets - Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam - to uncover consumer-centric trends in healthcare consumption.

Asia-Pacific consumers are increasingly willing to spend more on healthcare. According to the 2023 survey results, 51% of Asia-Pacific consumers (58% of Gen Z) said they were willing to pay more out of pocket for healthcare in exchange for better health outcomes, better experiences, and greater efficiency.

The adoption of wellness trends is more prominent among the ‘healthy and wealthy' group. In high-income groups, 50% reported spending more on nutritional supplements, compared to the overall population at 45%. The Gen Z population is especially focused on preventive products and services in the consumer health category, with a notable surge in demand for nutrition and supplements.

“Healthcare is no longer a passive experience. Asia-Pacific consumers are taking charge of their health and are willing to invest in wellness. In addition, our survey shows consumers demand a single touchpoint to manage their care and with artificial intelligence (AI) and health tech unlocking the power of personalized care and reinventing how we deliver healthcare,” said Vikram Kapur, head of Bain & Company’s APAC Healthcare & Life Sciences practice, based in Singapore.

Bain & Company’s survey showed that today’s patients want to explore care options that are both convenient and affordable. They are more comfortable receiving care outside conventional hospital setups, particularly for routine check-ups and diagnostic services compared to 2021. About 73% of consumers surveyed (82% in Gen Z) said they were willing to seek pharmacy-provided healthcare in the presence of partnerships between pharmacies and other healthcare providers, including clinics or specialists in the next two years, signaling that the pandemic experience had helped normalize such places as a potential point-of-care provider.

Ninety-one percent of consumers surveyed said they prefer a single touchpoint to manage their care, and preferences in the single touchpoint differ across markets. In China, Indonesia, and Vietnam, where there is a significant gap in the availability and quality of primary care services, consumers trust hospitals the most. Other markets placed additional trust in non-traditional delivery channels, including retail health outlets and digital-first players, with consumers in India and Malaysia displaying high trust in pharmacies.

Nearly 70% or more of consumers in India, Indonesia, and China affirmed trust in digital health and tech companies to manage their healthcare needs, while offline providers still hold a nearly 40% or more trust advantage over digital players in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Today’s consumers expect insurance providers to take an involved and guiding role in their healthcare journey. Bain’s survey revealed that around 80% of consumers look to insurance partners for specialist, diagnostician, or primary care provider recommendations. Consumers are also increasingly using insurance-backed digital apps, with roughly 50% penetration for services such as online appointment booking, self-diagnosis, and digital claim management and this is expected to rise to 70% in the next two years.

As consumers' expectations change and healthcare claim costs rise, there is an emergence of health insurers that manage patients' health and wellness by enabling medical care. These "medicalized payers" offer more patient-centric care by integrating primary to specialty care services, coordinating care across providers and facilities, and improving health outcomes while reducing costs.

With significant healthcare gaps observed across parts of the region, new technologies that disrupt traditional consumer-centric care delivery models have emerged and are being integrated in the market. Some examples include smart wearables and state-of-the-art remote patient monitoring devices. This could spur future partnerships between tech companies and healthcare players to pursue more effective, personalized care devices.

Consumers are also embracing AI in healthcare for enhanced access and better outcomes. According to Bain’s 2023 survey, more than 50% of respondents now feel comfortable with AI-powered healthcare delivery—including care delivery through AI only and healthcare providers powered by AI—for preventive and wellness care and less severe physical conditions. However, for more severe or urgent physical conditions, 70% of consumers prefer to receive care through human healthcare providers only.

Furthermore, in an environment where medical professionals are scarce, AI applications and technologies reinvent how care is delivered by supporting physicians’ abilities to make better clinical decisions and automating and streamlining hospital administrative tasks. Providers across the Asia-Pacific region are actively ideating and fine-tuning AI-powered tools for enhanced productivity, cost-effectiveness, and superior patient outcomes.

“Asia-Pacific’s healthcare market is becoming more consumer-centric and collaborating seamlessly with technology. To thrive in this changing landscape, healthcare players must embrace tech solutions and form strategic partnerships to develop new capabilities, delivering convenience-driven, integrated care across the entire care continuum,” said Kapur.

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Media contact: Ann Lee (Singapore) -  ann.lee@bain.com

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