Coronavirus outbreak in China expected to lead to long term healthcare reform

China’s punishing experience with COVID-19 is likely to push forward deep reforms already underway in the nation’s healthcare system, shifting medical diagnosis and treatment away from large hospitals, furthering digitalization and telehealth, etc.

That is the conclusion of a new report by global management consulting firm Bain & Company, which predicts that when the immediate crisis of the pandemic wanes, China’s healthcare system will emerge stronger. According to the report, in the wake of the outbreak, China’s government can be expected to implement comprehensive changes. Expanded community health centers will better diagnose patients before they arrive at hospitals. Greater government support for new medical technologies and treatments will spur innovation. More employment of artificial intelligence will permit better analysis of patient data. And online medical services will be increasingly central to the doctor-patient experience.

For healthcare companies doing business in China, the result is likely to be less red tape, increased opportunity, and greater bonuses for innovation, the report concludes.