Medical spending in China is increasing every year, and people have started to buy medicine online, with nearly 3 million people buying medicine through mobile apps, among which the largest one is Yiyaowang–the”No.1 pharmacy.” Set up by Yu Gang and his partner, the founder of China’s first large online supermarket, Yihaodian, Yiyaowang is also a key part of a healthcare ecosystem that combines an online hospital, a drugstore and patients. Yu, an experienced businessman and a scholar, tells how he built the ecosystem, how it simplifies the medical process and gives patients access to cheaper drugs.
China’s healthcare sector is huge but it doesn’t mean that people are getting what they need. China’s public health infrastructure is bursting at the seams: it is clearly not equipped to meet the growing demands of 1.35 billion people and an aging society. The problem in China’s healthcare sector is two-dimensional: it involves both shortages, wherein current healthcare infrastructure is just not enough to meet the people’s needs, and skewed market dynamics, where the demand isn’t necessarily for the healthcare services that are easily accessible. Can tech companies step in with digital healthcare services and apps to help bridge the gaps?