Jul 23, 2020|

Government’s Policy Support Unleashes JD Health’s Potential


by Vivian Yang

“The constant introduction of government’s new policies on promoting internet healthcare provides strong support and direction guidance for us to accelerate the development of internet medical services, “a spokesperson from JD Health commented today on recent guidelines concerning the internet healthcare industry issued by China’s central government.

On July 21st, the Chinese government issued a guideline to further relax limitations on internet medical services. The guideline mentions that on the premise of ensuring medical safety and quality, qualified internet medical services will be included in the national medical insurance scheme. In the meantime, China will publish national examination and approval standards for internet medical services, and accelerate the evaluation and approval process of clinical applications of innovative medical devices.

One week earlier on July 15th, China’s National Development and Reform Commission issued a separate guideline to promote the development of new business models, including internet hospitals.

Internet medical services is a “blue ocean” in China that is gaining more attention as with the pandemic situation and governmental policy supports. Being a leader in this emerging market, JD Health has even broader prospects for development. The platform, which is a subsidiary of JD.com, has reached unicorn status after closing a $1 billion funding round in 2019.

“Under the impact of the pandemic, more and more people have recognized the role and value of internet medical services,” said Lijun Xin, CEO of JD Heath. During the lockdown, people turn to online medical consultations in lieu of going to offline hospitals and exposing themselves to cross-infection risks. Since the launch of online medical consultation on January 26th, the average number of consultations on JD Health has surpassed 150,000 per day during the lockdown. From its launch in February till the end of March, JD Health’s free online drug sourcing platform for patients with chronic diseases in Hubei province received over 20,000 inquires, among which, over 96% of drug supply needs were solved.

With the pandemic situation gradually getting under control, people’s awareness of healthcare has grown even stronger with increasing reliance on online medical services. Sales of pharmaceutical products on JD Health have continued to increase since February. On June 18th during JD’s Grand Promotion, the transaction volume of medicine for chronic diseases grew by 270% year-on-year.

So far JD Health has deployed the most complete “internet + healthcare” model in the industry, with its businesses covering pharmaceutical e-commerce, online medical consultation, smart internet solutions for hospitals and healthcare services including specialized medical services such as chronic disease management and other medical services such as health check-ups, aesthetic medicine, dental and more.

In recent years, internet medical services have been deployed in many aspects of healthcare, such as online consultation for common ailments, online revisits for chronic diseases, contract service for family doctors, drug distribution from online to offline, and online payment of medical insurance. Combined with advanced technologies including 5G, AI, and IoT, and increased collaboration with local governments and hospitals, there is much to expect for the future of China’s internet medical services.