“Internet plus healthcare” platforms in China are assisting in the fight against the COVID-19
outbreak both at home and abroad, thanks to the country’s policies for supporting online
On Feb. 23, China’s leading online healthcare solution provider WeDoctor launched a platform to
provide online consultation, diagnosis, psychological assistance and other services, making it
possible for people to consult with a doctor at home.
As of 10 a.m. on March 13, the platform attracted over 125 million visits, with 48,581 doctors
offering consultation services for 1.6 million people.
WeDoctor also launched an online rescue channel to give special assistance to Wuhan, Hubei
province, the epicenter of the outbreak in China. In 10 days, over 50,000 local people were
provided with services including online follow-up visits, medical insurance reimbursement and
Like WeDoctor, other Chinese “Internet plus healthcare” platforms, such as Haodaifu, AliHealth,
Ping An Good Doctor, and JD Health have also unveiled similar services.
A total of 191 public medical institutions and nearly 100 Internet hospitals across the country have
made online diagnosis available for people, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and
Information Technology (MIIT).
Online consultation is the first step in digital health, said Li Dewen, deputy director of the MIIT
information center, adding that efficient human-computer interaction can reduce the workload of
hospitals and cut cross-infection risks.
Some healthcare companies have launched online consulting platforms globally in this regard,
sharing China’s experience in the fight against the virus.
Working with the China International Exchange and Promotion Association for Medical and
Healthcare, WeDoctor introduced a bilingual anti-epidemic platform in both Chinese and English
on March 14. In the first phase, the platform invited 6,129 medical professionals from across the
country to offer assistance to both Chinese and international friends overseas.
On March 18, Zhao Lei, a chief physician with Wuhan Union Hospital, used the platform to have
a video talk with Luca Varcasia, a doctor from the Italian city of Sassari. Zhao shared China’s
clinical experience in treating the disease and answered seven questions in detail from Varcasia
and other Italian counterparts. “The information shared by Dr. Zhao would be pure gold for us,”
Varcasia said after their video talk.
Users from nine countries, including the Netherlands and India, watched the live broadcast.
With the Internet plus healthcare platforms, China’s experience in fighting against the virus is
being transmitted to the world more quickly.