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E-doctor firms pitching in for coronavirus fight

By Zheng Yiran in Beijing and Yang Jun in Guiyang | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-02-05 11:23

A visitor experiences Ping An Good Doctor's one-minute diagnosis service during a healthcare industry exhibition in Zhengzhou, Henan province, on Nov 22. [Photo by Liu Xu/For China Daily]

Chinese internet-based medical companies have seen spikes in use volume after joining efforts to fight the novel coronavirus by offering online consultation services.

Many internet medical service platforms, including Ali Health, PingAn Good Doctor, Dingdang Kuaiyi and 3gujk.com, have joined hands to offer free online consultation and livestreaming from renowned professionals to the public.

Data showed online medical services have been well-received. According to Ali Health, during the first 24 hours after its mini-consultation service was open online, the platform attracted an cumulative 400,000 visits.

More than 10 other internet-based healthcare enterprises, such as WeDoctor, haodf.com and dxy.com, launched free online consultation services in Hubei province, epicenter of the outbreak.

"The fight against the novel coronavirus has brought new growth points for the internet medical sector. As the epidemic entered a high incidence period during the Spring Festival, and most people are now staying home to avoid cross-contamination, online consultation became the public's first choice," said Chen Qiaoshan, a healthcare analyst at Beijing-based market consultancy Analysys.

She noted internet medical companies are meeting current needs and making full use of their unique advantages of rapid response for online consultation, remote isolation and diversion before consultation.

"Their free online medical services have greatly benefited the public, especially those in Hubei province," Chen said.

Guided by Chinese Medical Volunteers, a welfare organization in Beijing, Guizhou-based internet medical company Longmaster and Ping An Insurance (Group) Co Ltd launched a 24-hour online platform to offer video and image consultation services for free.

By Feb 4, the online platform accumulated more than 500 volunteer doctors from tertiary-level hospitals and above. The services now cover 31 provinces in China, as well as 15 countries and regions outside China.

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