Web brings medics to grassroots

Updated: 2013-04-13 14:31

By Liu Jie (China Daily)

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A pregnant woman in Suifenhe city was in a dangerous condition, but local doctors were unable to deal with her.

Suifenhe is a small city more than 10 hours by train from Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province.

Instead of transferring the woman to a major hospital in Harbin, in a trial conducted by GE Healthcare, experts in Harbin offered real-time assistance with imaging diagnosis and helped local physicians with their surgery thanks to the integration of medical equipment and the Internet.

Web brings medics to grassroots

GE Healthcare's stand at the 20th Exhibition of China International Medical Equipment & Apparatus Exhibition in Beijing in 2011. [Photo/China Daily]

GE Healthcare, the medical arm of General Electric Co, is promoting its Internet-based medical technologies and solutions in China.

"The trial is a typical example of using Internet-based long-distance imaging to care for patients, reduce costs and increase efficiency. It's one of our key development focuses in China in the coming three years," said Rachel Duan, president and CEO of GE Healthcare China.

The US-based medical device developer and manufacturer is not the only company testing the waters in Internet-based and mobile healthcare.

Its counterparts, including Germany-based Siemens Healthcare, Japan's Omron Medical Devices and domestic company Mindray Medical International Ltd, have also adopted this strategy.

Siemens Healthcare presented a long-distance healthcare concept at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, which showed how a Chinese migrant in Italy followed the treatment of her sick father in China, and invited Italian experts to discuss the therapy with doctors in Beijing.

Omron's recently developed electric blood pressure meters can be linked with iPhones, iPads or other smart devices to collect patients' data and submit it to healthcare institutions, helping medical staff monitor, analyze and even send warning messages to patients.

Shenzhen-based Mindray has exported its self-developed small-sized, mobile ultrasonic diagnosis equipment to overseas markets, and has witnessed stable sales growth.

Internet-based telemedicare has become a new growth engine in the healthcare industry. According to a report from the Global System of Mobile Communications Association, mobile healthcare is expected to create $6.6 billion in revenue for medical device companies between 2012 and 2016.

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