Over 1,600 internet hospitals have been established in China so far, and nearly 49 million people took online diagnosis and treatment in 2020 with the prevalence of online healthcare service, according to an official of the National Health Commission.
Yu Xuejun, vice director of the commission, said this Friday at a healthcare forum held at the ongoing fifth China-Arab States Expo in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, which boasts the country's first pilot zone for Internet Plus Healthcare.
"Digital healthcare has become a strategic direction for many countries to transform and upgrade medical care, and China has been making great efforts to integrate information technology with hygiene and health," Yu said.
Yu pointed out that Internet Plus Healthcare has become an indispensable part of medical care, and its advantages such as being contactless have been fully displayed during the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic in China.
His opinion was echoed by Dr. Gauden Galea, World Health Organization (WHO) representative to China. Speaking via video to the forum, he said harnessing the power of digital technology is critical to achieving universal health coverage, and cutting-edge technologies such as virtual therapy and remote monitoring have the potential to support health systems to achieve better diagnoses and better coverage.
"There's a lot we can work on together to harness science and technology innovation to benefit the health and well-being of all people," Galea said. "I believe, through collaboration, we are contributing to a safer and healthier world and to a better future."