Perspectives

Ping An Business Case Studies: Breaking the Mold by Breaking Into Elderly Care in China

In recent decades, China has been breaking records in economic, technological and social development. Now it is set to become a world leader in its elderly population.

By 2040, an estimated 402 million people in China, or 28% of the population, will be over the age of 60. This will represent an increase of 150 million compared with today, according to the World Health Organization—more than the populations of Germany and the United Kingdom combined.

This demographic evolution poses both challenges and opportunities for authorities and companies alike, and has inspired one of the world’s largest financial companies to scrap its once successful traditional insurance business model. Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China is instead transforming itself into a health care and elderly care financial services provider.

If we haven’t already retired, many of us wonder now and then who will look after us when we grow old. In the West, many older people end up in nursing homes, many of which are reaching a crisis point in funding and capacity, especially post-Covid.

In the U.S., the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine published a nearly 600-page report arguing for comprehensive changes to the industry. Its suggestions include the construction of smaller facilities that would more closely resemble family homes. This, as it turns out, is where China is heading to solve its elderly care challenges.

In China, growing old boils down to “90-7-3.” This means 90% of the elderly are cared for at home, 7% are in community care and just 3% are in elderly care living institutions. Home-based elderly care services in China are fragmented, however, with significant differences in levels of care and service.

Ping An aims to answer this need with a new elderly care ecosystem providing home-based “butler” service and personal general-practitioner care.

 Ping An Life, a subsidiary of Ping An, has launched an elderly home-care service. Building on the strength of Ping An's health care ecosystem and high-quality elderly care resources, the service brings together insurance protection for customers with a professional "one-stop" elderly care service for an easier and more affordable living experience.

In recent years, Ping An has been committed to the strategic upgrade of integrated finance and health care services. It has developed a “finance + elderly care” business ecosystem along with a system covering the health care needs of its customers. The launch of its home-based elderly care service creates a closed loop in an innovative “insurance + service” product ecosystem,  bringing together health care management, high-end elderly care and home-based elderly care.

Capitalizing on the strength of Ping An’s health care ecosystem, the elderly care service addresses the major needs of home elderly care, providing a dedicated concierge, 10 service scenarios and a single supervision system.

Ping An's home care service system is based on its core strengths to create a one-stop solution providing “comfort for the elderly, peace of mind for the children and dedicated housekeepers,” giving customers a life experience that “saves their hearts, time and money.”

Breaking this down, first of all "Comfortable for the elderly". It can solve the problems of the elderly from "medical", "food", "housing", "transportation" to "financial", "health", "care", "happiness", "care ", "Security", creating a hundred exclusive services and providing systematic one-stop solutions.

At the same time is, "Children's peace of mind". In the face of children's concerns about the quality of services, Ping An through 6 major assurance systems, strict control of service standards, strict selection of suppliers, on behalf of the elderly to monitor the service process, with corporate endorsement, to protect the rights and interests of customers.

The round-the-clock online elderly care concierge service is supported by a smart risk system that connects health monitoring devices with the concierge platform. When the system detects anomalies, it issues an early warning so that the dedicated butler service can respond quickly and notify emergency services and family doctors, as necessary.

The system can monitor seven major vital signs, including blood sugar, blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate and blood oxygen level. It monitors 13 behavioral risks, including accidental falls, sleep quality, and daily exercise, to ensure timely detection and rescue when needed. The system can also monitor nine major environmental risks at the user’s home in real time, such as air quality, gas leaks and excessive smoke concentration.

Ping An’s home-based elderly care service relies on Ping An Good Doctor’s own medical team of about 2,000 doctors, who are available to provide 24-hour remote medical diagnosis and treatment. For those with offline medical needs, Ping An can provide fast-track or medical escort services to tertiary hospitals.

The monitoring system, supported by the expert medical team and the concierge platform, provides users with a comprehensive well-being assessment across 10 dimensions, including health, diet and daily life. The assessment results are evaluated by specialists to customize a one-stop bespoke comprehensive care plan.

Ping An is also expanding its business ecosystems of “finance + elderly care” and “finance + health care.” The Group is committed to providing customers with professional financial adviser, family doctor and elderly care concierge services, which offer them “worry-free, time-saving and money-saving” financial and health care.

As of the end of 2021, Ping An's health care services covered 187 cities, empowering over 45,000 medical institutions, benefiting approximately 1.32 million doctors and serving 10.48 million patients with chronic diseases. Cumulative consultations on Ping An Good Doctor’s platform have reached nearly 1.2 billion, and the company has forged co-operation deals with over 4,000 hospitals and 189,000 pharmacies.

As Ping An’s founder. Peter Ma, commented in a recent interview, everyone needs health care and elderly care. The Ping An business model is breaking into these two sectors to provide a wider range of richer products and services to customers, serving not only its employees and shareholders, but also a nationwide need in China to secure interesting and challenging employment for employees.

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