SINGAPORE (April 4): Despite widespread utility of digital services across the globe, a range of basic, self-fulfillment and psychological needs are still failing to be met, suggests a recent survey by Dentsu Aegis Network in partnership with Oxford Economics.

Based on the Digital Society Index 2019: Human Needs in a Digital World report released on Thursday, a survey of over 43,000 people in 24 countries across the dimensions of dynamism, inclusion and trust, 71% of respondents in Asia Pacific countries think technology’s pace of change is currently too fast, well above the average of 57%.

The region also saw 67% of respondents (versus 58%) globally express the view that not enough is being done to ensure digital technology benefits everyone in society, rather than a select few.

Notably, Asia Pacific reflected a very low psychological need score – which measures the impact of digital technology on health and well-being, as well as quality of life – of 28% compared to the global 38%.

This comes even as the region’s respondents continue to embrace digital products and services, with 55% more likely to use an app to hail a taxi compared to last year, versus just 44% globally.

81% of Asia Pacific survey respondents also were more likely to shop online than last year, as opposed to the global 76%.

Interestingly, Singapore topped this year’s Index across the indicators of dynamism, trust and inclusion in the digital economy despite being a newcomer.

Yet, the city state has the lowest score of all markets surveyed with a psychological need score of only 25%. The next-lowest five scores are all from Asian economies as well.

Singapore nonetheless ranks among the world’s top digital economies alongside the US and China.

“It is no longer a question that people need to be at the heart of the digital economy. However, there is still a long way to go in meeting the digital needs of many. If this aspect is not fulfilled, innovation will always fail. The Digital Society Index calls for a more balanced approach to engage people through digital products and services – to truly grasp the opportunities presented by technology.”