Global Health & Medicine 2020;2(2):89-95.
COVID-19 in China: the role and activities of Internet-based healthcare platforms
He D, Gu Y, Shi Y, Wang M, Lou Z, Jin C
In the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, the Chinese Government has enhanced its use of Internetbased healthcare. A large number of online medical platforms designed for COVID-19 have emerged in China. These platforms can be categorized according to the entity operating them, mainly the government, hospitals, and companies. Online medical platforms run by public hospitals provide follow-up consultations for common ailments and frequent ailments based on the hospital's offline services. Online diagnosis and treatment platforms provided by companies cover most of the regions in China. In terms of offering pandemic-related services, corporate platforms provide at least 1,636,440 doctors for online care, 1.685 billion consultations, and 109 million remote consultations. In terms of regular medical care, those platforms provide at least 940,182 doctors for online care and 13.7 million remote consultations; more than 84,916 specialists have provided online care during this period. During the prevention and control of this epidemic, online diagnosis and treatment has filled the gap of family doctors in epidemic prevention and control, it has reduced the chance of cross-infection of patients with a mild infection, and it has overcome the geographical limitations of medical resources. However, online diagnosis and treatment still faces challenges in terms of resource allocation and industry supervision.