Mar 16, 2020|

The Economist Spotlights JD Health’s Telemedicine Efforts during COVID-19


by Hui Zhang

The Economist highlighted JD Health’s contribution to fight against the COVID and its irreplaceable role in the industry in the March 7th-13th, 2020 issue of the magazine. The report mentions that the novel coronavirus is boosting a fledgling industry – telemedicine – as millions of Chinese are seeking treatment and advice on the internet.

The Economist highlighted JD Health’s contribution to fight against the COVID

The story states that COVID-19, like SARS, proving a blessing for e-commerce, is also providing space for the telemedicine industry to grow. It quoted Lijun Xin, CEO of JD Health, as saying that the monthly consultations for JD’s Internet Hospital platform have grown tenfold since the outbreak, to 2 million. Some 1.6 million tuned in to a talk by a top cardiologist that the subsidiary live-streamed.

The Economist explains that at first both authorities and Chinese consumers were quite cautious towards telemedicine, and reluctant to embrace it before COVID-19. However,  COVID-19 has accelerated the shift and helped telemedicine gain trust from Chinese consumers as a result. “Without the outbreak, such a shift in consumer behavior would have taken perhaps five years,” said Xin.

The article also highlights JD Health offering free online consultations to people across China. “It makes ‘little sense’ to focus on profit at the moment. What matters is how COVID-19 has made people think twice about rushing to hospital and helped foster trust in general practitioners, who provide the bulk of online advice. It has also broadened the appeal of firms like JD Health, beyond middle-aged patients with chronic conditions to web-savvy youngsters seeking advice for parents and grandparents and healthy types simply seeking reassurance,” Xin explains in the article.

Lijun Xin, CEO of JD Health

Lijun Xin, CEO of JD Health

It also mentions that JD Health has also lured more pharmacies to its platform. A full-time doctor working for JD Health, who previously worked in an AAA hospital in Beijing, said many of her old colleagues and classmates are doing the same.

A leading weekly international news and business population, The Economist is read by more of the world’s political and business leaders than any other magazine and has 1.7 million combined circulation of printed and digital version.