For the clinic-pharmacy branch of the healthcare industry, the year 2016 is the last peak for capital inflow, and in 2017, the investments whether in number or amount was as low as half of the data reported in 2016. Good news is that approaching to the end of 2018, clinics category has welcome a capital spring with nearly 40 funding activities with total amount of CNY 4.5 billion, in which Miaoshou Doctor(妙手医生) completed its series C funding led by Sequoia China and Tencent Holdings in April 2018 with a total amount near CNY 500 million (USD 73 million). In all-pervasive digitalization trend, healthcare is a major area during the transformation.
Digitalization started from last century is entitled with different understandings along with tech innovations. From digital information to digital plants, digitalization has already become part of our life. In clinics and hospitals, digitalization changes the way how doctors worked, from the medical record to treatments. Beyond, wearing equipment and online clinic are major product crystalized form last decade.
In China, the online healthcare market is an emerging industry. Network distributions and increased accessibility to mobile devices enable the development of online clinic and pharmacy. Miaoshou Doctor was originally an online pharmacy web/app that provided patients or people in need to purchase medicines online. But now, Miaoshou Doctor has become a more integrated online healthcare services including clinical consultation and pharmacy service.
Online healthcare providers like Miaoshou Doctor solves some social problems existed in the healthcare industry. The unbalanced distribution of healthcare service has restricted the development of overall national healthcare service level, and online healthcare can sooth the situation at some degree. At this point, Miaoshou Doctor has built strategic cooperation relationships with over 1,000 pharmaceutical companies from domestic and abroad. While the compensation and welfare differences due to regional economics level, doctors could benefit from providing online clinical services. In Miaoshou Doctor app, doctor hourly consultation price may as low as free and as high as CNY 399. Considering the difference in experience and professionality, consulting fee varies accordingly.
Pharmacy and clinical services help those who do not have the time or constrained by budget to acquire healthcare services, and also break the geological restrictions, especially in west China.
Indeed, online healthcare is booming. The other side of this boom has aroused people’s concerns about privacy issues. Increasing medical record database requires stricter data protections. The development of data securities is a fundamental and urgnt demand for all digitalized industries.