Press Release
Press Release

Bowtie and Merck sign MOU in pact to raise awareness of women's health

Author Bowtie Team
Date 2022-07-21
Updated on 2022-08-12

Appeal for early health management in prevention of chronic and fatal diseases

(From left to right: Tony Cheng, Head of Commercial Hong Kong and Macau, Merck Fred Ngan, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Bowtie Jacky Lio, Chief Medical Officer, Bowtie)

HONG KONG, 19 July 2022 – As Hong Kong’s first virtual insurer, Bowtie dedicates to building a healthier society, not only by providing insurance products to safeguard the wellbeing of Hong Kongers, but also by laying a solid foundation for health with the concept of “prevention is better than cure”.

Today, Bowtie announced the signing of a MOU with Merck Pharmaceuticals (Hong Kong) Limited (Merck), a leading global science and technology company, to promote women’s health and raise public awareness of the potential health risks such as diabetes. Juggling between different roles and responsibilities, women of our times, be they single women, housewives, or working mothers, must make the first move to take proper care of their physical and mental health while achieving for themselves and their families.

Bowtie and Merck share the same vision in leveraging technology to bring positive impact to our society and people’s wellbeing. It is observed that women in Hong Kong are facing worrying health crises, for they are more prone to some diseases than men, with the likelihood of suffering from higher cost for medical treatment:

  • Non-communicable diseases (or chronic conditions) are the leading cause of death for women and account for an estimated 65% of all female deaths worldwide1. Among them, diabetes, cardiopulmonary diseases and cancers are the most common diseases.
  • Due to the longer life expectancy of women, the accumulated medical costs are also relatively higher. For example, treatment for local females diagnosed with diabetes at age 45 can cost up to over million Hong Kong dollars, 15% more than males of the same age2.
  • Some diseases, such as heart diseases including myocardial infarction (colloquially known as heart attack) are more deadly to women – research shows that women have two-fold higher mortality rate than men3
  • Women cancers such as breast cancer and corpus uteri cancer now rank the third and seventh most common cancers among all Hong Kongers4. Thyroid diseases and multiple sclerosis impact up to eight times5 and three times6 more women than men respectively.

Modern women, however, spend most of their time fulfilling family and career obligations, usually oblivious to these risks. Bowtie and Merck believe that the top priority is to raise their awareness and vigilance of their own hidden health hazards. The two parties are holding a series of seminars and experiential activities at the 5th Women’s Festival Hong Kong, so as to enhance the awareness and knowledge of women’s health care in Hong Kong. They also intend to create and disseminate a variety of medical information on the topics of “Women’s Health” and “Diabetes,” urging female Hong Kongers to conduct regular body checks, and self-health management as early as possible, putting the principle of “prevention is better than cure” into practice.

Additionally, Bowtie actively encourages its female customers to adopt healthy routines. Along with conducting prior health challenge events for corporate clients and teaching them how to manage their body mass index, edema and visceral fat etc., the insurer also provides selected group medical insurance customers with the mobile app “GlycoLeap” launched by Merck, helping them manage their eating habits in a smart and easy way – Registered dieticians will evaluate the health index and offer nutritional recommendations after the user uploads a photo of a meal to the app, providing consultations on healthy diets on a one-to-one basis.

Bowtie is at the same time in the midst of preparing a health management plan tailored for women in Hong Kong, such as comprehensive gynaecological body check ups and regular health consultation service followed by professional doctors. It allows customers to constantly monitor their own health condition before the health risks and sub-optimal health develops and manifest, and seek immediate medical attention if high-risk female diseases such as breast cancer, thyroid disease and multiple sclerosis are diagnosed in order to prevent further disease progression.

“We are delighted to partner with Merck, a pioneer in the medical field who shares our philosophy of benefiting people with innovative technologies. We have witnessed that many female friends around us are unaware of their health problems, and often left too late to tackle when severe symptoms kick in. We don’t stop at providing medical coverage in the event of an illness, but also promoting the importance of preventive care and early diagnosis. Joining hands, we hope to make contributions to the wellbeing of Hong Kong women through this cooperation that combines the strength of our offerings.” commented Jacky Lio, Bowtie’s Chief Medical Officer.

“Making the best use of technology to create, improve and prolong life, alongside creating a more sustainable future for everyone, has always been the core of our corporate values. Bowtie’s ideology on health management coincides with our efforts in promoting a healthier future. This is a golden opportunity to popularise medical knowledge and strengthen the health management among the general public in Hong Kong, leveraging our medical expertise and innovative solutions, especially our rich track record in chronic disease management.” said Tony Cheng, Head of Commercial Hong Kong and Macau of Merck Pharmaceutical (HK) Limited.

Louisa Mak and Jessica Ng also shared their health and fitness tips during the event
Louisa Mak (right) and Jessica Ng (left) also shared their health and fitness tips during the event

About Bowtie

The Bowtie Life Insurance Company Limited is an authorised life insurance company and Hong Kong’s very first virtual insurer approved under the Fast Track pilot scheme. Through the use of modern technology and medical expertise, Bowtie offers an agent-free, commission-free and more convenient online platform for customers to quote, apply and claim for health insurance plans certified by the Food and Health Bureau under the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) anytime anywhere. Bowtie is backed by Mitsui & Co., Ltd, Sun Life Financial and supported by leading international reinsurers. Stay up to date at

About Merck

Merck, a leading science, and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and electronics. Around 60,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2021, Merck generated sales of €19.7 billion in 66 countries. Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Electronics.


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