China’s e-commerce giant JD.com is going full circle with its e-health services.
In Suqian, the hometown of JD founder Richard Liu, the company has “entirely moved” a bricks-and-mortar hospital to its online healthcare platform and connect the local public medical insurance system with its online pharmacy.
Patients in Suqian — previously an unknown town in East China’s Jiangsu Province before Liu gained fame — can be diagnosed online by doctors of the Suqian First People’s Hospital, one of the best public hospitals there.
Most importantly, patients covered by local public insurance system can buy over-the-counter drugs from JD Pharmacy online, enjoying all benefits of the system, such as direct discounts. Previously, they could only enjoy these benefits when they show up at bricks-and-mortar hospitals or pharmacies.
This is a big move for JD as it legalizes online diagnosis and for the first time extends public medical insurance benefits online, breaking barriers in e-health. However, it still takes more time to see whether this model will go beyond Liu’s hometown where he is viewed as a hero and where he has quite a great influence on public decision makers.
Editor: Nadine Freischlad