Canadian online health company Ask the Doctor expands to China
Telehealth apps and websites, which already exist in the U.S., have been called the Uber of healthcare.
Published Thursday, January 5, 2017 6:40PM EST
A Canadian company that connects patients with medical questions to doctors through an online platform has launched in China, making the question-and-answer service available to its largest market yet.
Ask The Doctor, launched in 2010, offers direct patient-doctor visits in the U.S. and Ontario via text and video streaming. The expansion to China, announced Thursday, was called a “no-brainer” by the company’s medical director.
“Access to immediate and proper medical advice is very limited in the country, especially in rural China. We realized this early on and made expanding to China a priority,” said Dr. Edward Tan in a statement.
The company is one of several virtual options for patients looking to connect with a medical expert. Akira, a smartphone app launched in Toronto in 2016, offers virtual medical visits through a user’s mobile device.
Ask The Doctor’s new China venture will be in Mandarin with the Chinese Yuan being the accepted currency. The company plans to translate its library of questions and answers to Mandarin throughout 2017.
The company, which has partnered with the U.S. National Institutes of Health, says data collected through Ask the Doctor provides medical insight into how patients address concerns and helps medical experts pinpoint which health issues are not being met.