(Yicai Global) Feb. 11 -- China's online healthcare service market could double in value this year as people seek digital consultations to avoid catching the deadly novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan.
The market could worth CNY100 billion (USD14.3 billion) this year, China Securities Journal reported today, citing Chinese brokerage Dongxing Securities. Remote healthcare is extremely useful in special scenarios and boasts huge potential market space, it added.
Alibaba Health, Ping An Good Doctor, Haodaifu and other online providers have over 10,000 experts in respiration, infectious diseases, internal medicine and other fields offering free diagnosis round the clock at the moment, the report said. These platforms also offer free counseling for doctors and other staff, and popular online medical communities DXY and Baike Mingyi are launching similar services to aid control of the epidemic.
The explosive growth of web-based healthcare will improve the information systems for hospitals, regional medical services, online diagnosis, emergency treatments and intensive care, according to Guosheng Securities.
Masks. lianhua qingwen capsules [a traditional Chinese medicine treatment for flu], and novel coronavirus-caused pneumonia are the top three keyword searches on Ping An Good Doctor, according to an executive at the firm, who added that the platform is receiving 35 times as many search queries as this time last year, with many about how to distinguish the coronavirus from other ailments and how to prevent it.
Some 191 public healthcare institutions and nearly 100 privately owned web hospitals are now providing free diagnoses online to help slow down the spread of the epidemic and relieve pressure at traditional hospitals, figures from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology show.
Editor: James Boynton