Ping An Good Doctor Develops Commercial Operation of One-Minute-Clinics in China
Ping An Good Doctor (PAGD), China’s largest online healthcare services provider and a spin-off of Chinese insurer Ping An, in 2019 expanded its AI-based “One-Minute Clinics” across eight Chinese provinces and cities.
One-Minute Clinics are small rooms where patients enter to connect with a virtual doctor (the “AI Doctor”) which in a few minutes offers a preliminary diagnosis of ailments. Then, real doctors join in to supervise the diagnosis by video-conference.
After a successful pilot, PAGD has signed service contracts for almost 1,000 One-Minute Clinic units with a view to serve over 3 million users.
The ‘Healthy China’ Strategy
As part of the Chinese government’s comprehensive “Healthy China” strategy, the nation’s online healthcare market continues to boom. Predicted to surpass US$14.4 billion in value by 2025, the domestic market has seen countless new players, with Ping An Good Doctor in the lead.
One-minute Medical Diagnosis
Each PAGD One-Minute Clinic includes an ‘AI Doctor,’ trained to collect data on patient symptoms and medical history through voice and text input, after which one of Ping An’s human doctors provides remote diagnoses, medical advising, and immediate online prescriptions.
The 24/7 compact, 3-square meter booths also contain more than 100 categories of common drugs, purchasable through a vending machine. In case that the medication necessary for a patient is not there, it can be ordered online through the Ping An Good Doctor app.
The company reportedly has a staff of “200 expert doctors” who train the AI with their assessments, taking into account information from a reported “300 million previous consultations”.
Clinics currently provide online consultations for more than 2,000 common diseases, and can simultaneously respond to tens of thousands of medical and health consultations with a high degree of accuracy.
A Successful Pilot
The first One-Minute Clinic was set up in 2018 as a pilot project in Wuzhen (note 1).
The single booth placed in a public space proved to be a great success with the local community. In addition to being located in communities and pharmacies, “one-minute booths” have also been placed in companies, including the Volkswagen factory in Shanghai.