Mobile healthcare is promising business in China

About 80% of doctors and healthcare payers in China say that widespread adoption of mobile healthcare, also known as mHealth, is “inevitable,” according to a survey by PwC.


The study has found that the number of mobile subscriptions in the country has reached 900 million, the largest in the world. With China also undergoing a massive overhaul in its healthcare system through policy reforms and government investment, Chinese consumers now have high expectations for mHealth. These developments mean that China carries a lot of potential for growing mHealth businesses.


Especially in demand are services that can integrate real-time patient medical information into their records to allow for better transparency between doctors and patients. About 24% of the surveyed are aware of and willing to use these kinds of services, and 73% are open to using it in the future. Almost all of those who are considering using the service are also willing to pay for them.


“People in China are very excited about the potential benefits mHealth could bring about as mHealth applications will empower Chinese consumers to take control of their healthcare,” notes Ronald Ling, PwC’s Asia healthcare leader. The survey found that 54% of consumers in China believe that mHealth would improve the way they manage their health. Another 45% of consumers hope that mHealth will give them easier, more convenient access to doctors. About 36% anticipate that mHealth will reduce healthcare costs.


Doctors similarly have high expectations of the platform. Around 44% of doctors think mHealth can improve communication with hospitals while 33% believe it can reduce time dedicated to administrative tasks.


James Xiao, senior manager of pharmaceutical and life services at PwC China and co-author of the study, says that mHealth is the next logical step to the revolutionary changes the internet and mobile devices have brought. “The prevalence of mobile users and maturity of China’s mobile infrastructure will help bypass any limitations in the existing system…these mHealth solutions will also reduce healthcare costs.” 


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4 Sep 2012


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