Philips looks to ride health boom with ‘ecosys­tem’

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By WU YIYAO in Shang­hai wuyiyao@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Royal Philips of the Nether­lands is look­ing to roll out a per­sonal health ecosys­tem in the Chi­nese mar­ket to seek op­por­tu­ni­ties amid surg­ing de­mand for health im­prove­ment, ac­cord­ing to Jor­gen Behrens, se­nior vice pres­i­dent, busi­ness leader, Per­sonal Health So­lu­tions at Philips.

Behrens made the an­nounce­ment dur­ing his trip to China for the launch of Philips Health Watch, a piece of upgrad­able hard­ware that helps users to bet­ter man­age their health us­ing data from sen­sors, smart­phone app soft­ware and re­mote lo­ca­tion sup­port ser­vices.

The prod­uct is the first among a slew of prod­ucts tar­get­ing China’s con­sumers in first- and sec­ond-tier cities who are al­lo­cat­ing more in­come on per­sonal health im­prove­ment, said Behrens.

The prod­uct aims at trans­lat­ing the mea­sure­ments from the data into healthy life­style choices and im­proved be­hav­iors by en­cour­ag­ing users to take charge of their own health, said Behrens.

New users of the prod­uct — which has a start­ing price of 3,599 yuan ($519) — in China can have the first three-month sub­scrip­tion with value-added ser­vices for free. Af­ter that, the charge is 500 yuan for ev­ery three-month sub­scrip­tion.

The busi­ness model of the Philips Health Watch is quite dif­fer­ent from many of the ex­ist­ing wrist­band prod­ucts as it of­fers value-added ser­vices, said Behrens.

He said: “We re­gard the com­plete health so­lu­tion not just as wear­able prod­ucts but all the parts in an ecosys­tem that gives users in­cen­tives and sup­port to im­prove health.”

Users can up­grade both the hard­ware and soft­ware of the Philips Health Watch, and have ac­cess to health tips through a smart­phone app, and one-on-one tele­phone health con­sult­ing ser­vices through the sub­scrip­tion, talk­ing to pro­fes­sional health ex­perts from health cen­ters in part­ner­ship with Philips per­sonal health so­lu­tions arm.

mil­lion

the ex­pected num­ber of fit­ness wear­able de­vices shipped to China in 2016

A study by global man­age­ment con­sult­ing firm McKin­sey in­di­cates that ex­penses for med­i­cal treat­ment have been surg­ing in re­cent years, so con­sumers are look­ing for so­lu­tions to pre­vent dis­ease, such as chang­ing life­style and be­hav­iors in­clud­ing bet­ter sleep­ing hours, quit­ting smok­ing and get­ting more ex­er­cise.

Mar­ket an­a­lysts said that the sales of wear­able de­vices tar­get­ing con­sumers who wish to im­prove their health are boom­ing, but they are also fac­ing in­creas­ing com­pe­ti­tion as more play­ers are en­ter­ing the mar­ket.

Ac­cord­ing to data of the mar­ket re­search ser­vices provider CCS In­sight, 29 mil­lion wear­able de­vices were shipped in 2014, 85 mil­lion in 2015, and the num­ber is ex­pected to rise to 123 mil­lion in 2016, and reach 411 mil­lion in 2020.

Tong Wei, an an­a­lyst with Di­a­log, said in a re­search note: “Wear­able de­vices need to seek new ar­eas where they can play a part in peo­ple’s lives. They should be­come more in­ter­ac­tive, link­ing hard­ware, soft­ware and pro­fes­sional ad­vice, and at the same time pro­tect users’ pri­vacy and data se­cu­rity.”

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