Help at home and abroad

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA -

With the rapid devel­op­ment of dig­i­tal health­care in China, more pa­tients are ex­pected to gain bet­ter ac­cess to in­ter­na­tional med­i­cal ex­per­tise via the in­ter­net.

Ear­lier this month, hopenoah, a Chi­nese health­care provider with links to med­i­cal in­sti­tu­tions over­seas, an­nounced that it had started of­fer­ing a ser­vice through which doc­tors from top hos­pi­tals in theUnited State­sand Ja­pan pro­vide con­sul­ta­tions and di­ag­noses to pa­tients in China via an on­line video link.

The ser­vice is aimed at pa­tients with se­ri­ous ill­nesses who need a sec­ond med­i­cal opin­ion from over­seas. The com­pany can also help peo­ple to make an ap­point­ment for a 45-minute on­line with doc­tors from the two coun­tries a week in ad­vance, ac­cord­ing to Wang Gang, hopenoah’s CEO.

The sys­tem al­lows physi­cians over­seas to read a pa­tient’s med­i­cal records prior to a con­sul­ta­tion and of­fer so­lu­tions via the link. If nec­es­sary, real-time trans­la­tors will also be pro­vided, and pa­tients can be rec­om­mended to hos­pi­tals in China or other coun­tries for treat­ment, Wang said.

WorldCare In­ter­na­tional, a lead­ing US provider of in­de­pen­dent di­ag­noses, re­cently an­nounced that it will pro­vide on­line ser­vices to Chi­nese pa­tients via a net­work that in­cludes Mas­sachusetts Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal, Boston Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, Duke Hos­pi­tal and theMayo Clinic.

Steven Wu, a physi­cian at Mas­sachusetts Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal and chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer ofWorldCare China, said pa­tients, es­pe­cially those with se­ri­ous con­di­tions such as cancer and strokes, will be able to con­sult doc­tors in the US on­line, rather than leav­ing China and trav­el­ing to at­tend one-on-one meet­ings.

In re­cent years, a ris­ing num­ber of af­flu­ent Chi­nese have looked abroad for higher-qual­ity med­i­cal care, prompt­ing a large num­ber of ser­vice providers from over­seas to en­ter the do­mes­tic mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to ex­perts.

TANG YI / XIN­HUA

A pa­tient uses a smart­phone to make an ap­point­ment to see doc­tors at a hos­pi­tal in Chongiqng.

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