Alibaba Tries Healthcare

Caixin: Alibaba Blazes a Trail with Online Health Care Pilot
Villagers in the central province of Hubei recently spoke with doctors hundreds of kilometers away through the Net and then had prescriptions delivered to their doors as part of China's emerging Internet health care service.

Like many fishing villages, Hongshiyuchang has poor public transportation and is far away from major public hospitals. Villagers usually have to spend hours on a bus to get to doctors in nearby cities, but now these isolated villages are having some of their health care needs met by Internet companies.

On January 18, a pilot launched by the e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in Hongshiyuchang attracted many villagers who wanted to test out the new medical service. One villager, Hu Tianshun, said that after making a reservation and putting details of his health history online, he was interviewed by a doctor in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, in a video call. After the diagnosis, the doctor placed an electronic prescription so Hu could order medicine in Alibaba's online shops. Hu got his drugs the next day, and completed the transaction by paying the deliveryman.

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