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Alibaba Kicks Off High-Tech Hospital Reform in Guangzhou

Posted: 06/17/2014 2:06 pm

payment hosptial E-commerce giant Alibaba seeks to make massive improvements to China’s antiquated hospital system by reducing wait times for patients through the use of online payments and sharing of patient data.

Alibaba has initiated a pilot program called “Future Hospital” at the Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Center, the first such place in China that allows patients to pay for medical services through online accounts, reports China Daily.

By paying fees with a smartphone, Alibaba claims the length of an entire procedure can be reduced from five hours at peak times to one. On its first day of implementation, 580 people used the service at Future Hospital.

However, this is just the beginning of Alibaba’s ambition to reform hospital service in China as the e-commerce giant hopes to “use Alipay’s payment, user data, and big data capabilities to build a comprehensive mobile medical care and health management platform,” reports Tech President.

Technode outlines Alibaba’s huge ambitions:

Zhang Jiangang, an exec at Alifinance, mentioned that in the next 5-10 years, in order to implement phase two of the said plan, Alipay will establish a comprehensive online platform to allow virtually mobile prescription, medicine delivery, hospital transfer, medical care insurance reimbursement, commercial insurance as well as damage claims, as part of the improvement of healthcare reform in China…
“This is a long term plan to realize the shift from cure to prevention,” Zhang said.

Alibaba-owned Taobao had previously attempted to offer a free hospital appointment-booking service in several Chinese provinces only to be blocked in Beijing, where a competing service is offered by the Beijing Health Department.

Alibaba recently purchased a 50% share in the Guangzhou Evergrande football team, the other of Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s projects:

“We’re not investing in football, we’re investing in entertainment. Alibaba’s future strategies are health and entertainment.”

Photo: Gansu Daily

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