Internet companies are concentrating on local healthcare
The COVID-19 outbreak has led to a national and global shortage of medical supplies. At the same time, a large number of online medical demand, Baidu, JINGdong and many other Internet companies entered the market, testing the medical supplies industry, increase the “Internet + medical”.
Although the big health industry has broad development prospects and Internet medical treatment is an opportunity, it also faces some challenges in this wave. There are too many competitors, and it is not easy for some latecomer Internet companies to share the pie.
Under the broad demand, the medical industry may become the next important battlefield for Internet companies.
Article/Huohuo (Industry Gathering)
Under the epidemic, Internet companies have stepped up
Earlier this year, the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 pushed online healthcare to the forefront. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, all parts of the country have entered a state of “lockdown”, and offline medical clinics have been cut off and almost paralyzed, bringing a lot of inconvenience to patients.
For some patients suffering from diseases but unable to see a doctor offline, the online medical platform has become their “life-saving straw”. During the epidemic, there was a huge outbreak of online medical treatment and the surge of consultation data, and people who could not go out turned to online ways to relieve their urgent needs.
After the outbreak, online consultations on several Internet medical platforms have surged. During the Spring Festival of 2020, the daily number of independent apps in the field of online consultation peaked at 6.712 million, with a maximum increase of nearly 1.6 million and a year-on-year increase of 31.28%.
During the epidemic, 39 Health, Dingxiang, Ping an Good Doctor and other online medical platforms provided consultations for patients, which saw a peak in traffic. Every day, 3health.com receives millions of visitors, and the total online exposure of the special page on the epidemic has reached 116 million. The number of online consultation users increased by 215.32%, and the number of consultation increased by 134.91%. The number of visits to ping An Hao Doctor platform reached 1.11 billion, and the number of newly registered APP users increased by 10 times, with the average daily consultation volume of newly added users being 9 times as much as usual.
At the same time, to meet the demand for medical supplies and catch up with online health care, many Internet companies are expanding into the medical industry.
On March 12, Baidu established Baidu Health (Beijing) Technology Co., LTD., with a registered capital of 30 million yuan. Baidu Health’s business scope includes class I and II medical devices, health management, health consulting, psychological consulting, retail medicine and sales of class III medical devices.
On March 24, Tianjin Momo Paradigm Technology Co., Ltd. was established, and the legal representative and ultimate beneficiary is Lei Xiaoliang, co-founder of Momo Technology. Tianjin Momo Paradigm Technology Co., Ltd. is wholly owned by Beijing Momo Technology Co., LTD. Its business scope includes sales of sanitary products and disposable medical products, and sales of health food.
On March 25, Wuxi Jingdong Kancheng Trading Co., LTD was established. The legal representative of the company is Ren Tao, general manager of computer and digital Business division of JINGdong Retail Group. It is wholly owned by Beijing Jingdong Century Trading Co., LTD. The business scope includes sales of the second type of medical devices; Sanitary products and disposable medical supplies sales, etc.
In just two weeks, Baidu, Momo and JD.com set up medical companies one after another, which shows that Internet companies are setting off a wave of increasing their presence in the medical industry.
In fact, as early as 2014, BAT can be seen gradually involved in Internet medical treatment.
Tencent announced its entry into the big health sector in 2014 and accelerated the layout of Internet healthcare in 2016, investing in dozens of medical and health projects, including Internet healthcare enterprises such as Dingxiang Yuan, Medical Association and Haodai.com. In addition, Tencent also controls Penguin Doctor, which has set up offline clinics and is committed to creating a closed-loop service of “prevention testing + treatment + rehabilitation management” through an innovative way of Internet sharing. On April 1 this year, Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. changed its business scope and added the sales of class I and class II medical devices. Licensed business items: sales of three types of medical devices. Continue to increase the size of the health industry. Under the epidemic, encouraged Tencent to increase the ambition of health.
Baidu set up a medical business division in 2015, but the division was cut two years later. At the time, Baidu said the move was to adjust and optimize the medical business structure, and the layout of baidu’s medical business would focus on artificial intelligence to better adapt to the development of the medical industry. In 2019, Baidu joined hands with Neusoft to create spiritual medicine wisdom and continue to promote the medical field. Now, the epidemic has triggered Baidu’s determination to increase its exposure to the medical industry.
Ali Health recorded revenue of 5.096 billion yuan and gross profit of 1.331 billion yuan, up 108.6% and 103.9% respectively year-on-year, and adjusted profit of 122 million yuan, according to the 2019 financial year results report released by Ali Health. Among them, the pharmaceutical e-commerce sector achieved a total revenue of 4.917 billion yuan, up 106.3% year on year, accounting for 96.48% of the total revenue. It can be seen that Alibaba also takes e-commerce platform as a strategic focus in its cross-border medical treatment, and mainly develops e-commerce platform and payment. Ali Health is mainly established by Alibaba to undertake the group’s medical and health business, such as operating tmall medical store and medical equipment e-commerce business.
In this regard, an industry insider said: “Internet companies are not only involved in medical devices, but also in the layout of the Internet + medical track. Moreover, many enterprises add medical field, for the government, enterprises and individuals, all three are beneficial. The government has introduced relevant policies and measures to promote the healthy development of the Internet medical industry; The response of more enterprises can promote the prosperity of the medical market and the improvement of the industry level; I hope to solve the problem of shortage of medical materials, difficulty and high cost of medical treatment.”
Why add “Internet + Medical care”
There are several reasons why Internet companies are increasing their exposure to the medical industry.
The first is that the demand has changed, and the strategic direction of the enterprise for the market needs to adjust accordingly.
Due to the improvement of living standards, people pay more attention to health, not only to ensure that the disease can be diagnosed and treated, but also hope to do a good job of health prevention and early warning. Online medical platforms have become the first choice for users to consult about problems related to disease.
Especially with the pandemic, people’s needs have changed dramatically. Offline medical systems are under pressure because they cannot go out, but online triage, consultation and preliminary screening can divert the pressure. In addition, in special periods, many diseases can only be diagnosed through online medical platforms before symptomatic treatment, rather than offline medical institutions.
Secondly, the promotion of online medical treatment and policy promotion is an important positive.
It is reported that since February this year, Guangdong, Sichuan, Beijing, Shanghai and other provinces and cities have clearly included Internet plus medical services in the medical insurance settlement system. On February 26, Wuhan, as the core epidemic area, also opened medical insurance payment in collaboration with online medical platform Wedoctor, covering 10 serious chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and malignant tumor, and providing online follow-up prescription and offline pharmacy prescription.
At the same time, the policy level is good. On March 2 and 5, China issued the Guidelines on Promoting “Internet plus” Medical Insurance Services during COVID-19 Prevention and Control and the Opinions on Deepening the Reform of the Medical Security System, both of which explicitly mentioned supporting the innovative development of “Internet plus” and other service models. The “green light” will be given to online medical institutions to issue electronic prescriptions, medical treatment fees, and direct online settlement of medical expenses and medical insurance.
Chen Qi, an Internet medical practitioner, said, “The simplest explanation is that not everyone uses wechat, Taobao and Baidu, but everyone gets sick. In the future, every mobile phone and mobile terminal will have an APP about health care.”
As China is a country with a large population and serious differentiation of medical resources, the current situation is the source of the development of the Internet medical industry.
In addition, medical treatment and medicine are the immediate needs of everyone, and the epidemic has made masks, temperature guns and other medical supplies, as well as hospitals, in short supply. The Internet giants themselves have accumulated user data and layout of Internet + medical care has certain advantages. In the future, more Internet companies may enter the medical field.
Thirdly, medical big data plays an irreplaceable role in epidemic prevention and control.
First, use big data of public opinion to give early warning of epidemic situation. Monitoring of public opinion is an important application field of big data technology, which can be used as an important means to give early warning of epidemic situation. Monitoring online public opinion can help public health authorities warn of potential outbreaks and prevent their spread.
Second, the surveillance network is used to find the source of infection. Through big data analysis and intelligent operation of social image monitoring data, the source of infection can be found in time, the high-risk groups can be warned, and early defense, early detection and early isolation can be achieved.
The third is to use big data to help hierarchical diagnosis and treatment. In the case of limited medical resources and more patients, hierarchical diagnosis and treatment using big data technology can allocate medical resources more efficiently.
Prospects and trends, and challenges
Internet medical treatment is a very promising industry, Internet companies layout of medical treatment is the general trend, but will also face certain challenges.
Prospects and trends, first, the industry has broad prospects. According to qianzhan Industry Research Institute, the market size of China’s Internet medical industry has developed rapidly from 6.7 billion yuan to 49.1 billion yuan from 2012 to 2018, with a compound annual growth rate of 39.37%, reflecting the urgent demand for Internet medical treatment in China’s medical market. According to this growth rate, the industry scale will break through 94 billion yuan in 2020, and the industry may enter a period of rapid growth of standardized development.
Second, multiple enterprises actively enter the Internet hospital. At present, domestic Internet hospitals are operated by public hospitals, as well as Internet companies, pharmaceutical and medical device enterprises. For example, the Internet medical platforms such as Dxy Park, Medical Association and Good Doctor online invested by Tencent mentioned above; Another example is Kangmei Pharmaceutical, whose Internet hospital medical platform integrates handheld hospital, network outpatient service, remote consultation, smart pharmacy and other medical service systems.
These enterprises have a certain brand influence, and at the same time, based on their main business, layout of Internet hospitals has a unique advantage. In the future, Internet hospital will be an important development trend, and more enterprises will enter this field.
Third, 5G will promote the development of Internet medical treatment and accelerate the landing of Internet hospitals. Earlier, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology held a teleconference on accelerating 5G development and resuming work and production in the information and communication industry, stressing that while doing a good job in epidemic prevention and control, 5G development and resumption of work and production should be made solid efforts to accomplish the annual development goals and tasks.
Relying on 5G technology, internet-based medical treatment can make full use of limited medical resources and equipment resources, and realize telemedicine scenarios in disease diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and other aspects. 5G+ Internet healthcare can break through the original geographical restrictions, balance medical resources, improve efficiency and save hospital operating costs. With the development of 5G construction in 2020, Internet hospitals will be better promoted and more application scenarios will be realized.
But there are also challenges. On the one hand, with the development of “Internet plus medical care”, health information on the Internet is also constantly enriched. As the quality of online health information is uneven and it is difficult to distinguish between true and false, it is inevitable to cause the overflow of health information. As medical knowledge has a strong professional, patients can not distinguish the authenticity of information, easy to be deceived by criminals, resulting in delay and economic losses.
On the other hand, many Internet companies are in the DNA of the Internet itself, not healthcare. Do the Internet is strong, but do their own medical treatment is weak, the probability of success is not high.
In addition, the Internet is a magnifying glass, which can maximize enterprise effect and bring better service to users. If the industry once entered the Red Sea, there may be artificial or force majeure factors to infringe on the rights of users. Once the industry competition heats up, some enterprises will suffer losses, and there will even be the risk that platforms will resell user data.
Some insiders think: “Internet giants cooperate with medical and medical companies to develop medical informatization. Linkage with medical and pharmaceutical companies and hospitals to give full play to their respective advantages is the direction of future development, rather than robbing the jobs of medical and medical companies and eventually causing mutual loss. But there is no denying that many Internet companies try to water medical equipment, add medical, has been an irresistible trend.”
In the Internet medical industry, enterprises can go further only by providing high-quality services for patients from the perspective of users.