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Digital technologies change the way APAC consumers manage their health

Digital technologies are changing the way consumers manage their health across the Asia Pacific, according to new research Global Data.

The analyst firm says in the information economy, health-conscious consumers are seeking conveniences that make their health goals easier to reach, often using the internet and mobile applications. In line with this, companies are embracing technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and augmented reality to deliver more sophisticated, convenient and personalised experiences to consumers. As a result, guided health trend offers growth opportunities for most consumer brands in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

According to GlobalDatas report, TrendSights Analysis 2019: Guided Health, guided health ultimately reflects an evolving health-oriented landscape in which technology-enabled information sharing and connectivity is culminating in a more empowered consumer.

GlobalDatas 2019 Q3 Consumer survey reveals that 66% of consumers in the Asia-Pacific region proactively seek products which improve their health while 29% choose to react to health problems when they arise.

"Guided health trend is predominantly between the emerging and the growth stage of lifecycle across key FMCG categories, as the pace of technological advancement leaves significant room for continued growth and change," Shagun Sachdevam consumer insights analyst at GlobalData says.

"In APAC, the guided health trend is more relevant in personal care and food sector. The breadth of technologies that enable consumers to make healthier food and drink, and personal care choices is extensive and continually growing," he says.

"The sophisticated devices such as wearables and apps allow professional-grade recommendations accessible to consumers at home."

In 2019, Shiseido launched full-scale Internet of Things (IoT) skincare service brand Optune in Japan. It allows users to get an analysis of skin conditions, including moisture level, skin texture, oil and pores through a dedicated app which combines inputs such as menstrual cycle and mood, as well as external factors including air quality and humidity to determine a skincare formula for the day.

According to GlobalData 2018 Q4 Consumer survey, 63% of APAC consumers find personalized product/service recommendations based on their previous shopping behavior appealing. In addition, 65% of consumers in APAC prefer personalized product/service recommendations based on their lifestyle/daily activities while 61% find personalized product recommendations based on how they look, using automatic facial recognition technology, appealing.

"In APAC, brands are empowering consumers with information that can help them better understand the health issues relevant to them in order to contextualise and shape their own health goals," says Sachdevam.

"Companies are keeping their focus on providing seamless consumer experience in terms of recommendations that are tailored to consumers' specific needs and offering tools that are easily accessed and connected across devices and platforms," he says.