Medical e-commerce is transforming healthcare to a new trillion dollar industry
An employee works at a traditional Chinese medicine shop in Shanghai, China, September 16, 2015. Reuters
Historically, China’s population lived in rural areas, and only 26 percent lived in cities, reported Money Morning . However, as a result of rapid population growth, and urbanisation, more of the mainland population is driven to live in the cities. Now, it is predicted that almost 56 percent of China’s citizens will live in the cities. Furthermore, numbers from the China's Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development predicts 300 million Chinese will move to the cities until 2025.
This massive migration will result in creating annual infrastructure investments of $154 billion. This move will also prompt a huge growth in e-commerce. Despite China’s economic slowdown, its e-commerce market, especially in health care, is becoming the largest in the world, set to overtake that of the United States, according to a Forrester forecast.
The emerging Chinese medical e-commerce industry is transforming into a trillion dollar industry. Even McKinsey & Company predicted that health care spending in China will grow to $1 trillion by 2020. In just four years, China’s online healthcare delivery business soared by as much as 674 percent, from $31 million to $2.4 billion in 2015
China’s medical e-commerce
The growth of medical e-commerce is largely credited to the Chinese government and the private healthcare sector. Both these entities contributed immensely to the industry’s growth through investments in new startups. For instance, Tencent Holdings Ltd. is putting in $100 million in its startup called We Doctor Group or also called Medical Service Guahao. Tencent is also responsible for China's first internet-connected hospital.
The WHO reports that among the steps in China’s healthcare reform is making medical services more affordable through financing schemes, and medical e-commerce is playing its part. In some cases where Chinese who lived in rural areas needed medical treatment, medical e-commerce paved the way for more online medical services such getting prescriptions and consultation. Thanks to this industry as well, people living in remote areas or even those living outside the China can still avail of health services without travelling.
The growth is also largely influenced by pharmaceuticals, medical products and consumer health where affluent Chinese consumers demand the latest and most advanced medical treatments, even increasing pollution within the cities demand for a change in diet and medical services reported Forbes .
While China's economy is struggling with some industries on the decline, it is coalescing behind this medical e-commerce trend, and there's now a race underway to fill the space the fastest.
Leaps in modern healthcare
Today, even western countries are influenced by China’s unprecedented medicinal treatment. China is known for its traditional medical treatment that uses plants and herbs to treat diseases. More so, the once-uncharted possibility of marijuana for medical use is likely to become a million dollar industry for China.
The use of cannabis in this country dates back thousands of years ago. Legends told of an Emperor Shen Nung already knew of the plant’s medical benefits which up to this date have been studied even in western countries.
The United States is one the countries who have explored the possibilities of using the cannabis plant for medical purposes. One company, in particular, has revolutionised safe and healthy cultivation practices and education of marijuana. The Los Angeles-based medical company Med-X is also the first to run a Reg A+ equity crowdfunding campaign in the cannabis industry. Currently, the company is providing effective non-toxic all-natural pest management products beneficial to cannabis cultivators.
Today’s generation has been witness to huge advances and leaps in medical science. From finding a cure to certain cancers, HIV, and vaccines, there are still uncharted medical possibilities looming in health care. However, most, if not all entails the use of modern devices, mobile apps, and even pills. Today’s modern healthcare treatment entails natural and healthy cultivation.