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.

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