COLDSKY.CN – Despite the booming development of Internet-based medical services provided by enterprises and traditional hospitals, medical insurance coverage and doctor’s multi-site practices still face many barriers, according to the latest report by VCbeat.top, a medical start-up and investment information platform.
The report studied 577 online hospitals in 26 provinces and municipalities and another 20 Internet-based medical service providers. （In Chinese, https://vcbeat.top/MmIyMDA1ZWU2NDFiOTJhYzI1ZGZlZjJmMGZhYjFlN2Q=）
COVID-19 stimulates online medical service
To reduce the stress of hospitals during the COVDI-19 pandemic, China’s heath, civil affairs and medical insurance authorities introduced a slew of measures from February to June to support the development of Internet hospitals. On March 5, the State Council rolled out the overall guideline to deepen medical reform, including support of combing Internet with medical care. East China’s Jiangsu Province is most open-minded to allow licensed doctors to work for different employers.
The following chart shows the growing number of Internet-based medical service providers, mostly by traditional hospitals except in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Hainan Province.
The past several months has seen the breakthrough in finally connecting online medical service with insurance coverage, certainly a key component for a robust ecosystem. But such online platforms still mainly handle the follow-up consultation of ordinary and chronic diseases.
The enterprise-run online health service providers Ping An Good Doctor（平安好医生），JD.com Health(京东健康), We Doctor(微医), Miaoshou.com(妙手医生)，医联（www.medlinker.com）and DXY.cn (丁香园) all reported overwhelming growth of services such as online consultation and science awareness, mostly provided by doctors in their free time.
The health arm of Chinese search engine Baidu.com (灵医智慧, 01.baidu.com) has applied AI for chronic disease management, using the smart speaker to help patients be mindful in exercise and medication use. In 2019, Baidu and Inspur launched a program supported by the health commission in Jinan, capital of East China’s Shandong Province.
Among the difficulties, currently, most hospitals are reluctant to see their physicians providing online service on a third-party platform. Among 577 Internet hospitals, only 71 or 11% have their series linked with the medial insurance coverage.