Despite the presence of a national health insurance system in China, most Chinese people are unsatisfied with the coverage. Long lines of patients at hospitals are common, as China’s limited medical facilities struggle to meet the large population’s demand for treatment. However, the rise in digital healthcare has been successful in mitigating some of these problems.
Recently, investors have poured money into resources such as online patient-doctor communication and consulting services, disease management applications, social networks for medical professionals, and even “internet hospitals” that provide remote diagnostics. Larger Chinese companies have even begun to provide online medical hubs such as Alibaba’s Ali Health, which offers both an online pharmacy and a health insurance marketplace, among other services. The number of Chinese people using digital resources has increased dramatically in recent years and is expected to skyrocket in the future.
Despite problems with these digital resources, such as the lack of face-to-face interaction between patients and doctors and the absence of direct on-site examination, the solutions offered by digital healthcare in China may outshine the drawbacks. The introduction of this technology has greatly increased convenience by shortening hospital wait times and giving Chinese people greater access to health professionals across the country.