Help at home and abroad

Updated: 2016-09-27 08:05

(China Daily)

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With the rapid development of digital healthcare in China, more patients are expected to gain better access to international medical expertise via the internet.

Earlier this month, hopenoah, a Chinese healthcare provider with links to medical institutions overseas, announced that it had started offering a service through which doctors from top hospitals in the United States and Japan provide consultations and diagnoses to patients in China via an online video link.

The service is aimed at patients with serious illnesses who need a second medical opinion from overseas. The company can also help people to make an appointment for a 45-minute online with doctors from the two countries a week in advance, according to Wang Gang, hopenoah's CEO.

The system allows physicians overseas to read a patient's medical records prior to a consultation and offer solutions via the link. If necessary, real-time translators will also be provided, and patients can be recommended to hospitals in China or other countries for treatment, Wang said.

WorldCare International, a leading US provider of independent diagnoses, recently announced that it will provide online services to Chinese patients via a network that includes Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital, Duke Hospital and the Mayo Clinic.

Steven Wu, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and chief medical officer of WorldCare China, said patients, especially those with serious conditions such as cancer and strokes, will be able to consult doctors in the US online, rather than leaving China and traveling to attend one-on-one meetings.

In recent years, a rising number of affluent Chinese have looked abroad for higher-quality medical care, prompting a large number of service providers from overseas to enter the domestic market, according to experts.

- Wang Xiaodong

 Help at home and abroad

A patient uses a smartphone to make an appointment to see doctors at a hospital in Chongiqng. Tang Yi / Xinhua