With a vision to improve patient experience and improve hospital efficiency, Health Technology marries technology and healthcare to provide mobile-based smart hospital operations and management systems to smooth hospital visits and help patients manage their health online. China is pushing ahead with medical reforms and Eight Roads believes great companies in the private sector can benefit. Health Technology, which supports hospitals to provide better patient experience and improve efficiency, is one of them.
Addressing market needs
Being sick is a stressful experience. Going to see a doctor in China is even more so. Very often, it takes hours of standing in line, and patients, despite being unwell, must visit various departments to get examinations, prescriptions and consultations before queueing up again to pay. It is common to see public hospitals swamped with patients, who receive barely five minutes of consultation after hours spent waiting in lines.
Health Technology’s “smart hospital” system helps solve the issue. The idea is simple - an integrated platform, which allows patients to book medical appointments, check medical records and settle payment with their mobile phone. To work, it must persuade hospitals, mostly state-owned, to abandon their existing systems, and embrace something new.
Finding the right model
Since 2008, China has encouraged the development of IT systems in the medical sector. At the same time, mobile payment has been developing quickly to the extent that China will soon lead the world in mobile payment with volume reaching US$ 12.77 trillion in 2017. To realise his plan, Neng decided mobile payment would be the key entry point. With Tencent and Alipay becoming the two leaders in mobile payment, Health Technology helped hospitals build mobile platforms linking payment through WeChat and Alipay, with complementary functions including the capability to: set up medical files, make appointments, book examinations and access medical records. In 2015, Health Technology signed up its first hospital. Within a year, more than 100 hospitals had been onboarded. By the end of 2018, Health Technology covered more than 500 hospitals in 23 provinces in China, supporting more than 180 million patient visits, with a transaction volume exceeding RMB 2 billion. Starting in 2016, the Company’s “smart hospital” also supports payments through China Basic Medical Insurance (BMI) and commercial insurance.
Broaden the connection
With its “smart hospital”, Health Technology successfully built up a solid user base. It then offered more value-add to patients by introducing Hicare, a combination of wearable hardware and mobile applications for health monitoring, doubling up as a means of online communication between doctors and patients. On the hospital front, it launched Hiwork which supports daily administration and improves efficiency, such as managing nursing rosters.
Health Technology has also been able to ride on the favourable policy trend of the “internet hospital”, which encourages public hospitals to leverage the internet to extend medical services from offline to online. This evolving trend is expected to open up vast monetisation potential for platform operators such as Health Technology while empowering healthcare providers and patients.