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Monitoring blood pressure at home can help reduce risk of brain stroke

Various international trials on blood pressure lowering and stroke prevention state that for every 5 mm Hg decrease in SBP, the expected risk reduction of stroke and heart attack incidence and mortality was 18% (95% confidence interval [CI], 12-24%) in individuals younger than 55 years, 9% (5-12%) in those aged 55-74 years, 9% (4-13%) in those aged 75-84 years, and 1% (-13; +12) in those aged 85 years and older.

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A new data review, conducted by OMRON Healthcare Singapore, has revealed that monitoring blood pressure at home can help in reducing risk of brain stroke. According to the review, people who monitor their blood pressure at home are more likely to detect and manage hypertension – one of the leading causes of stroke.

The review is based on an active user base of around 340 people, and more than 43,000 blood pressure readings across Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam over the period from November 2021 to October 2022.This base consists of users who are regularly using OMRON Bluetooth-connected digital BP monitoring device and tracking their blood pressure with the OMRON connect app, as well as OMRON’s Health Gift program within the app.

The monitoring and analysis of their readings over the pre- and post-registration period (3 months before, and the 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 12th month) reveals average Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) improvement of 10mmHg among hypertensive people with a baseline SBP of 135mmHg and above, within 12 months. The study also shows that 80% of this group of users were able to control their blood pressure, with 55% achieving normal SBP by the 12th month of tracking.

Various international trials on blood pressure lowering and stroke prevention state that for every 5 mm Hg decrease in SBP, the expected risk reduction of stroke and heart attack incidence and mortality was 18% (95% confidence interval [CI], 12-24%) in individuals younger than 55 years, 9% (5-12%) in those aged 55-74 years, 9% (4-13%) in those aged 75-84 years, and 1% (-13; +12) in those aged 85 years and older.

Thus, the data review reiterates that home blood pressure monitoring and tracking with the help of an app help in identifying abnormal changes in blood pressure. If the changes are addressed and managed with the help of physicians, before they become severe, it can be an effective support for stroke prevention, especially among people who have a family history of hypertension or stroke.

“I believe that monitoring of blood pressure at home is an essential aspect of controlling hypertension and managing co-morbidities like stroke, heart attack, and dementia. Regular monitoring aided by accurate digital devices allows for early detection of potential health issues and empowers patients to take control of their own health by making informed decisions under the guidance of their physicians. It’s important to incorporate monitoring in your daily regime to achieve optimal health and prevent potential complications in the long run,” said Valery Feigin, Professor of Neurology & Epidemiology and Director of NISAN.

OMRON Healthcare, one of the leading players in home healthcare monitoring, has been at the forefront of promoting the importance of home blood pressure monitoring. The company has been developing innovative, connected, and affordable digital blood pressure monitoring devices that are being used by people across Asia Pacific to monitor their blood pressure at home. This year, the company celebrated the 50th anniversary of the launch of blood pressure monitors, and will continue to work towards its vision of contributing towards “zero cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease (zero events)” around the world.

“Digital home blood pressure monitoring is a game-changer in the fight against stroke. It starts with managing hypertension — stroke’s biggest risk factor,” says Yusuke Kato, General Manager, OMRON Healthcare Philippines. “Our devices are connected, accurate, and user-friendly, making it easy for people to monitor their blood pressure regularly and also keep their physicians and caregivers easily informed with the help of the OMRON connect app. This enables them to take more effective and timely decisions, rendering better management of their health and leading to fewer unexpected health events. Thus, helping us to drive our vision of “Going for Zero” events,” he added.

The added rewards to users via OMRON Health Gift program are recognized by the company as an effective tool to motivate users in building and keeping up a healthy habit of regular blood pressure monitoring.

Reports highlight that hypertension is the most powerful modifiable risk factors for stroke, heart attack, and dementia; lowering blood pressure substantially reduces the risk of morbidity and mortality. However, it continues to pose a significant burden in Asia, with poor awareness and undertreatment reported in many Asian countries and regions. It is estimated to cause nearly 3.7 million deaths each year in Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania. Considering the asymptomatic nature of hypertension and the significant disease burden, it is essential to measure blood pressure regularly. Home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM) is recognized as a valuable tool to monitor blood pressure and facilitate effective detection of hypertension. Combined with the right drugs treatment, it can play a significant role in preventing stroke, heart attacks, and dementia.

To this end, OMRON has joined the mission to promote blood pressure screening through device donations via the May Measurement Month program. Since 2017, OMRON has donated approximately 23,000 units of blood pressure monitors to various medical associations of hypertension globally, to support screening and diagnosis.

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How tailored microinsurance products are key to relevance and adoption in PH

As an insurtech, Igloo and its partners have been instrumental in facilitating a wide array of microinsurance products that safeguard the unique needs of digital natives and underserved sectors.

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For most people, understanding insurance boils down to the four most common types: life, health, auto, and long-term disability. While awareness of insurance importance is increasing, the aforementioned traditional insurance products are failing to resonate with many people due to various reasons including affordability, accessibility, and relevance. These factors have largely contributed to the low insurance penetration in the Philippines, which stands at 1.68% as of September 2023. 

This is where microinsurance is changing the game as insurtechs and insurance companies have introduced personalized microinsurance products that cater directly to the unique lifestyles and needs of Filipinos as they go through various stages of their lives. As an insurtech, Igloo and its partners have been instrumental in facilitating a wide array of microinsurance products that safeguard the unique needs of digital natives and underserved sectors. These products run the gamut from travel insurance, to electronics protection, e-commerce purchase protection, and even protection for the gamers’ health.

“While traditional insurance products may come with high premiums and broad coverage, microinsurance products are designed to provide targeted protection against specific risks that are relevant to our daily lives. By offering affordable products that address immediate needs, microinsurance can serve as the gateway to broader insurance protection and may be key to boosting insurance penetration,” said Roberto Vea, Commercial Lead at Igloo Philippines. 

Among the most popular insurance products Igloo PH and its partners facilitated are Gadget Protection and Online Shopping Protection. In 2023, Gadget Protection sold 10.3 million policies while Online Shopping Protection sold 1.98 million policies highlighting strong customer demand for coverage against electronic device damages and online purchase risks.

“Microinsurance empowers individuals to protect themselves against risks they face today, whether it’s safeguarding their electronics from liquid damage or ensuring affordable coverage for spontaneous travel adventures. At Igloo, we believe it’s important for insurers and insurtechs like ourselves to continuously develop relevant products and make sense for our customers,” Mario added.

As of September 2023, microinsurance premiums in the Philippines have increased by 19.6% to P10.16 billion, and over 56 million Filipinos are now insured under microinsurance policies. 

“The growth of the microinsurance industry underscores how the approach to insurance awareness is no longer one size fits all–it must evolve alongside our digital-first lifestyles, safeguarding our ever-expanding virtual assets and providing peace of mind in the face of modern risks,” Vea explained. “This also means ensuring that the products are where our consumers are–online, thus making sure that the entire buyer’s journey from consideration, to purchase, and claims must be easy, accessible, and uncomplicated.”

According to a recent study conducted by Manulife, 41% of Gen Z individuals (aged 18-24 years old, according to McKinsey) plan to purchase insurance online in the next 12 months. Furthermore, the study found that 33% of millennials (aged 25-44 years old) have already bought insurance online. This indicates that younger generations are increasingly preferring and adopting online channels for purchasing insurance.

This is where the availability of embedded insurance was able to expand the channels of distribution, providing consumers with a convenient way to discover, evaluate, and purchase products in just a few clicks. Igloo does this through partnerships with major e-commerce platforms like Lazada and Shopee, leading payment platforms such as DANA in Indonesia and GCash in the Philippines, and retail chains like Circle K in Vietnam.

“As Igloo continues to play a vital role in making microinsurance accessible to millions of Filipinos, we remain committed to prioritizing products that not only raise insurance awareness and adoption but are also relevant, innovative, and customer-centric,” Vea ended.

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Pru Life UK’s product guarantees 4% annual cash payout for 7 years

Customers’ principal money is secured with 100% cash back guarantee or return of the premium paid if the insured is still around after the 7-year insurance coverage period or maturity of the policy. The cash back gives comfort to families of a stable financial future.

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Pru Life UK launches a new product designed to provide Filipinos life insurance coverage while also allowing them to earn returns with rates comparable with those from a high-yielding time deposit. PRULove Wealth uniquely offers 4% annual cash payout, 100% cash back, and up to 125% insurance coverage.*  

Regardless of market conditions, customers can rely on a guaranteed 4% annual payout based on the single premium paid. PRULove Wealth complements their traditional bank deposit and fixed income-generating financial assets. The steady earnings assure them and their families cash to celebrate life’s milestones, boost personal savings, and provide an extra layer of financial cushion.  

Customers’ principal money is secured with 100% cash back guarantee or return of the premium paid if the insured is still around after the 7-year insurance coverage period or maturity of the policy. The cash back gives comfort to families of a stable financial future. 

The life insurance coverage of up to 125% based on the single premium gives the customers wealth protection for their families. Whatever happens to the insured, the beneficiary gets the whole proceeds up to 25% higher than the principal.*  

PRULove Wealth solidifies our unwavering commitment to being the Filipino families’ most trusted partners and protectors by providing financial solutions that address their evolving needs. With the guaranteed benefits of our new product, we aim to help more customers achieve financial protection and their wealth aspirations,” shares Allan Tumbaga, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer & Marketing Officer.  

PRULove Wealth can help customers who want a convenient one-time pay life insurance product that reaps an uninterrupted flow of cash and secured legacy without worrying about market volatility. 

Pru Life UK maintains its industry’s top position in New Business Annual Premium Equivalent & total Premium Income from Variable Life Insurance products according to the Insurance Commission’s Life Insurance Sector Quarterly Statistics for Q3 2023.   

Its wide range of products is accessible through its over 42,000 digitally-empowered agency force and like-minded ecosystems and digital partners. 

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Introducing Taco Bell’s ‘Cupid’s Choice Valentine’s Special Combo’

Make every moment count with 1 Crunchy Taco Supreme, 1 Burrito Shawarma, 1 serving of Oreo Chocodilla, a side of Nachos Sprinkle, and 2 servings of Ruby Fruity Freeze for dine-in or 2 12oz. servings of soda for delivery, all for just P499!

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This season of love, Taco Bell has cooked up an irresistible offer to help you show how much you adore that special someone! You’ll be love-struck like never before with the Cupid’s Choice Valentine’s Special Combo, available for a limited only!

Make every moment count with 1 Crunchy Taco Supreme, 1 Burrito Shawarma, 1 serving of Oreo Chocodilla, a side of Nachos Sprinkle, and 2 servings of Ruby Fruity Freeze for dine-in or 2 12oz. servings of soda for delivery, all for just P499!

Enjoy an all-time Taco Bell classic with the Crunchy Taco Supreme, made with a crunchy taco shell that’s filled to the brim with perfectly seasoned Mexican-style ground beef, topped with a special sauce, and then garnished with shredded fresh lettuce, diced tomatoes, and grated cheddar cheese.

Indulge in the Middle Eastern inspired Shawarma Burrito, made with Mexican-style ground beef topped with diced onions, tomatoes, and cucumber, and generously drizzled with Taco Bell’s rich and creamy garlic sauce, all encased in a soft and tender tortilla wrap.

Stay refreshed with sips of your Ruby Fruity Fizz or soda, and munch on some Nachos Sprinkle between each bite.

Finally, satisfy your sweet tooth with 2 slices of Oreo Chocodilla, a delectable treat made with gooey, melted dark chocolate, chewy marshmallows, and chunks of crushed Oreo cookies, all nestled in a lightly grilled tortilla wrap.

The Cupid’s Choice Valentine’s Special Combo will be available until February 29, 2024 only, so make sure to order today if you don’t want to miss this offer!

.Get it together with your other favorites from Taco Bell by visiting your nearest branch for dine-in and take out orders, or by calling the 8911-1111 hotline for delivery. You can also order through Taco Bell’s official delivery partners GrabFood, foodpanda, and Pickaroo (prices may vary). Never miss the latest news, offers, and deals from Taco Bell by following and giving the brand a like on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and Instagram.

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