At GMIC today, the mobile health summit was packed to the rafters, and the temperature of the room was rising. Mobile health is certainly the hot topic in 2015. Zhang Rui, the charismatic CEO of mobile health app, Spring Rain, addressed the expectant audience with a casual but confident style. He noted the sheer numbers in attendance as a sign of the growing interest in the mobile health sector.
Mr Zhang lamented that the ratio of doctors to patients in the world is very low. Only 16 million doctors care for 7 billion; 1 doctor per 437 patients. Doctors are swamped, and this can impact the quality of care they can provide. In China, this issue is compounded by the fact that 30% of medical diagnoses in China are false diagnoses. Doctors can rarely be 100% certain of their diagnoses; experienced doctors are often able to reduce the field down to 3 possible diseases, while inexperienced doctors may be left with 10 possibilities. Zhang’s mission is to reduce the number of false diagnoses in China by 4%.
Spring Rain, he announced, is a remote diagnosis application that has been recently launched in China. It provides an easily understandable definition of the medical problem to a patient, then conducts a remote diagnosis process to help determine what the patient is affected by. Diagnosis of avian flu (bird flu) could be one of many possible uses for the product. Zhang Rui explained that the app would be supported by 25 offline Spring Rain clinics, to be set up later this year. He noted that this wasn’t an online to offline model (O2O) but rather an offline plus offline hybrid model (O+O).
The CEO explained that the internet, big data, algorithms and artificial intelligence can be used to improve the productivity of doctors. Spring Rain does this by accepting patients inputs, then uses a US-sourced database combined with an intelligent triage system to give preliminary suggestions as to which hospital department the patient should visit. The system can also assist doctors in making treatment decisions.
Looking to the future, he said that the ultimate goal for any health service is not to cure disease, but to prevent it. He ended his talk with a call to the fresh faced audience to stand up against vested interest groups in the healthcare industry; to rebel; to take risks; and to be as passionate about their daily work as they would be at a music festival.
Author: Carl Robinson