, Singapore

Prudential’s health app can now scan people’s faces for stress

This new feature was made through the firm's collaboration with Nervotec.

Prudential has launched a new feature on its holistic health and wealth management app Pulse by Prudential that allows it to scan people’s faces for stress, with Singapore and the Philippines having a first go at the new feature.

This project was made possible with the insurer’s collaboration with Singapore-based digital health firm Nervotec, in a move to help people better manage and monitor their health and stress levels on a daily basis.

Users of the Pulse by Prudential app (Pulse) will be able to measure their vital signs, such as heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration rate and oxygen saturation levels simply by scanning their face with a mobile phone. These measurements, which can be obtained instantly, can be used to determine daily stress levels, emotional well-being and general fitness levels.

The new feature, named "My Pulse Daily", will be made available first to consumers in The Philippines and Singapore. Pulse is an AI - powered mobile app designed to bring holistic health and wealth solutions to Prudential's customers and the communities in its markets across Asia and Africa.

The social and economic uncertainties brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic has caused an increase in stress. In a study conducted by Milieu across six countries in South East Asia, Singapore (81%) and The Philippines (78%) top the list with respondents agreeing that it is stressful living in their countries, followed by Malaysia (61%), Thailand (59%), Indonesia (51%) and Vietnam (42%).

Long-term stress can contribute to physical and mental illness. In Singapore, more than 160,000 people are admitted to public hospitals every year for stress-related illnesses. The country spends about $2.3b (S$3.1b), or 18% of its total healthcare expenditure, on stress-related illnesses annually.

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