Medical specialists provide online services to patients in Henan Provincial People's Hospital in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province, Feb. 1, 2020. (Xinhua/Li Jianan)

Online diagnosis, treatment play big role in China’s epidemic fight: official

Online diagnosis and treatment have played a unique and significant role in China’s fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a health official said Friday.

The amount of online diagnosis and treatment at hospitals affiliated to or supervised by the National Health Commission (NHC) jumped 17 fold over the same period last year, said Mao Qun’an, an official with the NHC, at a press conference.

Some third-party online medical service platforms have seen their diagnosis, treatment and consultancy volume increase over 20 times year on year, with the number of prescriptions growing nearly 10 times, Mao said.

Health authorities also took advantage of online medical services to expand medical help to Hubei Province, which was China’s epicenter of the outbreak, including remote consultation and psychological aid, he said.

Authorities also used big data to help locate and monitor potential close contacts and other at-risk groups, he added.