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WeDoctor's Online Healthcare Could Revolutionize How Medicine Is Practiced Globally | EMQQ

WeDoctor is committed to using technology to empower medical care, driving the “medical insurance” technological upgrade, and building a world-leading HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) platform to provide users with the new medical and health services of “online + offline, general + specialist” to become the health gatekeepers of hundreds of millions of families. Given China's rising health care costs and inequities, this healthcare app is attempting to level the playing field by changing the very nature of personal care [1]. 

We Doctor Holdings Limited (“WeDoctor”) is China’s leading technology-enabled healthcare solutions platform, providing seamless online and offline healthcare services as well as the integration of general practitioner and specialist doctors. Founded by Jerry Liao and his team in 2010, WeDoctor operates four main business segments [2], namely: 

1. WeDoctor Healthcare

2. WeDoctor Cloud

3. WeDoctor Insurance

4. WeDoctor Pharma

 

WeDoctor brings together government, hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies and financial institutions to create an innovative and holistic healthcare provision and funding ecosystem. On the WeDoctor platform, there are over:

  • 2,700 hospitals 
  • 220,000 leading doctors
  • 15,000 pharmacies
  • 27 million monthly active users (as of 12/31/19) [3]

 

WeDoctor has continued to transform the healthcare system through technology with the creation of the nation's first Internet hospital - Wuzhen Internet Hospital. It also launched the industry’s first domestic smart health terminal and has made significant progress in the field of smart healthcare with the creation of AI-enabled diagnosis systems for both Western and Chinese medicine [4].

How WeDoctor Helps

WeDoctor HealthCare has two disease diagnoses system for Western (RealDoctor) and Chinese medicine (Huatuo AI Doctor), both of which are facilitated by artificial intelligence (AI). The latter offer is reflective of the continuing reliance on traditional medicine in Chinese society.

WeDoctor Insurance offers varying insurance options for users based on gender and concerns (cancer insurance, leukemia insurance, children’s insurance) at different price points.

WeDoctor Cloud allows its partnering hospitals, clinics, government, and businesses to use tools such as data processing, record management, AI diagnosis, pension management, and remote consultation

WeDoctor Pharma integrates its healthcare services to provide patients a “one-stop-shop” to receive a virtual consultation and receive an electronic prescription that can be immediately filled.

WeDoctor is hoping to revolutionize a traditional health-care industry after the coronavirus pandemic underscored its shortcomings.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought inadequacies in the country’s medical care system into stark relief, exposing an over-reliance on big hospitals in major cities and flaws in how the state responds to emergencies, even with a mechanism built after the SARS outbreak in 2003. The startup has said it launched an online platform dedicated to treating coronavirus cases on Jan. 23 and has helped facilitate 1.4 million consultations with doctors in the month since it began [5].

WeDoctor could play a pivotal role in a nationwide effort to wrench its ailing healthcare sector into the modern age. Beijing envisions a 16 trillion yuan ($2.3 trillion) healthcare industry by 2030 and, in a blueprint laid out in 2016 called “Healthy China 2030,” vowed to improve public health emergency preparedness and response capabilities to match those of developed countries [6].

WeDoctor’s success can be attributed to how it addresses the traditional pain points related to healthcare: time, distance, and money. Its value also arises by helping doctors make earlier or more precise diagnosis, and by speeding up the overall experience. Collecting data real-time and cross-referencing a patient history with millions of other users can, for instance, predict a heart attack “with a high rate of precision,” says Dan Vahdat, chief executive of Medopad. WeDoctor can become especially valuable for rural populations who often experience increased difficulty reaching critical health services. In many ways, 

WeDoctor redefines the very notion of personal care that has been at the core of the patient-doctor relationship. As the platform continues to grow, its treasure trove of data proliferates and be valuable to many interest groups.

Sum it Up

Founded by artificial intelligence maven Jerry Liao Jieyuan in 2010, WeDoctor aims to compete with both fellow startups and major corporations such as AliHealth in the burgeoning field of online healthcare and Ping An Good Doctor, another mobile healthcare application considered the “first health-tech Unicorn” in China after the company raised $1.1 billion IPO; Ping An Good Doctor expanded to Southeast Asia and created a joint venture with popular Singapore-based ride-hailing app Grab in November 2018. Another major competition will be from Google’s DeepMind Health.

WeDoctor has found success in a country burdened by rising inequalities, where patients have to wait in line for hours just to get an appointment or buy a time off scalpers. The company also launched a $600 Echo-like home device, called WeDoctor Tong, that can link to user’s wearables and acts as a “doctors’ hotline.” Eyeing the international market, WeDoctor acquired a majority stake in the Australian fertility treatment company Genea to focus on its newest platform, BBlink. Given that inadequate and expensive medical treatment is not indigenous to China alone we look forward to watching WeDoctor's next steps [7]. 

Article date: 22nd May 2020.

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