Technology set to revolutionize the sector
The wider application of internet technology in the medical sector is playing an important role in China’s medical reforms.
The changes are intended to ensure that patients have better access to healthcare and reduce the financial burden of treatment, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, the top health authority.
“Internet technology has been widely applied in China’s medical care sector and has playedapositiverole,” YaoJianhong, deputy chief for medical reform at the commission, told a media briefing at the commission’s offices this month.
“Many services, such as online registration and payment, have greatly benefited patients and reduced the number of painstaking trips to hospitals.”
New applications, such as online clinics— platforms that provide medical care services — and the popularity of wearable healthcare devices are also improving access to higher-quality resources, he said.
Aguideline released in June by the State Council, China’s Cabinet, said the promotion of digital healthcare will bring profound changes to the current healthcare service model and will also contribute to improved efficiency and a better supply of resources.
In addition, an open national platform for health information will be built by 2020 so basic data can be shared among different departments and regions.
By then, a range of fields, such as primary care, medication and medical insurance should have emerged on the internet, the guideline said.
The government is also encouraging apps that provide online consultations, registration for appointments and payment, plus online access to test results and follow-up treatment.
Meanwhile, to regulate services and protect the rights of all parties, the government will formulate and improve laws and regulations related to the development of digital healthcare. Strengthened supervision will ensure security of sensitive information, such as data relating to public security, patient privacy and business secrets, the guideline said.