World

In China, the incredible boom in e-health

For two years, Sam Yang has not seen a single doctor. This does not mean that this young man has not consulted one, but when he is not feeling well, he taps on his cell phone and opens the health application of his insurer Ping An. He must first choose one. specialty: traditional Chinese medicine, dermatology, urology, general medicine, osteopathy or other.

Once his choice has been made, in this case dermatology, a second home page offers him various options (eczema, allergies, acne, etc.) and above all three categories of doctors: the one on duty (which enjoys a satisfaction rate of 98.9%), Doctor Peng Shuli, director of a dermatology laboratory, or Doctor Zhang Xiaoma, a confirmed doctor but who does not yet have the status of director.

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Mme Peng has already treated 65,750 patients online; its satisfaction rate is 98.5%. Mme Zhang processed 100,425; no less than 98.8% of them recommend it. “In my city, Harbin, a hospital visit takes at least a day. With the application, it’s much faster and I have more confidence in the drugs they send me ”, explains Sam Yang.

Thanks to a friend who works at Ping An, this English translator was a pioneer. With the Covid-19, tens of millions of Chinese have imitated it. It must be said that in this country, there is neither a family doctor nor a doctor’s office. In the event of a problem, a Chinese has no choice but to go to the hospital. Some have an excellent reputation, others less.

In any case, the wait is long and, in the event of a pandemic, the risk of catching the virus is high. A blessing for the giants of high-tech, which, in recent years, have seen health as a promising vein. One of them, JD.com, has also listed its subsidiary dedicated to health in December 2020 and another, Tencent, is considering doing so. Two companies whose approaches differ significantly.

Business approach

In southern Beijing, in a business district barely out of the ground, dozens of young doctors lined up behind their computers respond in writing to patient requests. They are among the 200 doctors who, in three teams, take turns 24 hours a day in one of the ultramodern buildings belonging to JD Health. But they are only a very small part of the online commerce giant’s medical teams. Responding to an average of 120,000 daily consultations, the company works with 68,000 hospital doctors who, spread across the country, round off their end of the month. The prices are transparent and vary according to the qualification of the professional and the accepted waiting time. The commercial approach is assumed.

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