JD Healthcare, a China-based online platform that offers patients the ability to have free consultations with doctors around the clock, is expanding it services from the initial largely pandemic-related services to include all diseases.
The service was launched in January 2021. At the time JD’s Internet Hospital offered a free online service offering consultations with a physician for those who were suffering from fever, fatigue, cough and diarrhea. These consultations were handled by the departments involved in respiratory ailments related to the pandemic as well as the psychology and infectious departments.
Now JD Healthcare has expanded its free consultations, which are available at all hours, so that all diseases are included. Departments available now are those of cardiology, pediatrics and endocrinology as well as the original departments.
The internet hospital offers booking of appointments as well as consultations that are visual, by telephone or by text. Also available are post-diagnosis management, reservation of times for vaccinations, and health educational services.
By providing the services online JD Health and Wellness helps to cut down on the risks of cross infection that can occur when patients visit a hospital. It also provides convenient consulting services for those patients who are unable to visit the hospitals. In addition, the online consultations help to reduce pressure placed on hospitals, particularly during the pandemic.
Aimed at rural areas
Inspiration for the creation of JD Health came in China where adequate medical care is in short supply in the rural areas of the country. Most of the top hospitals in the country are situated in the big urban areas of China. As a result, patients who live in the remote areas of the country complain regularly that they have great difficulty in receiving adequate treatment.
The problem is being tackled by the creation of internet hospitals in which a virtual consultation is integrated with physical examination. JD Healthcare is a subsidiary of JD.com, which is using its technology and e-commerce platform to assist in the rollout of the model. More than 30,000 doctors from 32 regions and provinces across China have joined JD’s internet hospital. Six out of 10 of the doctors come from the country’s top-tier hospitals. Initial results show that nine in every 10 patients using the service obtain answers within as little as three minutes.
Full-time staff of 200
Almost 200 leading physicians are employed full-time by JD Health and Wellness services. The service has handled more than 2 million consultations since its establishment on January 26, with the daily average number of consultations reaching 100,000. Even at peak times the free service can consult with tens of thousands of patients in just one hour. Almost 60 percent of all free consultations are with physicians handling respiratory ailments
A free hotline service for those needing psychological support is also offered by JD Health and Wellness. This service is particularly useful for those medical personnel working on the front lines in an environment that is intense and highly stressful.
During the pandemic, JD Health has ensured a consistent supply of drugs and has vowed never to raise prices during this time. It is able to do so through its direct links with many prominent pharmaceutical companies in China and outside the country. Through its logistical services and qualified staff it can enable consumers to obtain the correct drugs that are appropriate to their illness as well as ensuring that they are delivered in time.
JD Health also is using its capabilities to help to improve hospital services and thereby enable healthcare to be accessible around the country.
In November, JD Health finalized its latest funding at $1 billion, which placed the start-up at a value of about $7 billion after it was spun off from JD.com in May.