In China, a plan to personalise health care in a market of 1.3 billion people

Oracle Australia

By John Foley, Oracle
Friday, 01 June, 2018


In China, a plan to personalise health care in a market of 1.3 billion people

Baheal Pharmaceutical Group, an investment and healthcare operations company in China, has launched a digital initiative to modernise and personalise a range of healthcare practices in the world’s most populous country.

Baheal, based in Qingdao, is helping address one of the Chinese government’s biggest challenges: improving the wellness of the country’s 1.3 billion people, whose life expectancy, at 76.1 years, was only 53rd globally in the 2016 World Health Organization ranking. That same year, the Chinese government set a goal of improving the average life expectancy of its citizens by one year — the equivalent of 1.3 billion people years — by 2020.

China’s healthcare system of 29,000 hospitals and 460,000 pharmacies is different in key ways from those of the US and other western countries. In China, for example, patients get prescription drugs from hospitals, not local pharmacies, which are mostly small businesses that have not invested in modern applications and technology infrastructure.

Baheal Intelligent Technology, a subsidiary of Baheal Pharmaceutical Group, is developing cloud services for those pharmacies, as well as digital systems for doctors, hospitals and others in China’s huge healthcare supply chain. For example, it has begun selling digital marketing solutions to retail pharmacies, to help them reach customers in new ways, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) capabilities, for improved control over supplies and other business operations.

Baheal Intelligent Technology’s new pharmaceuticals marketing platform combines Oracle Eloqua for marketing automation, Oracle BlueKai for data management and Oracle Maxymiser for personalisation and testing, all part of Oracle Marketing Cloud. For ERP, Baheal is using Oracle NetSuite’s cloud-based applications and programming interfaces for healthcare and life sciences.

The marketing system will let local pharmacies and drug stores compile and manage customer data, develop user profiles and drive marketing campaigns that blend in-store and online offers. This integrated approach is a better way for those small businesses to reach “downstream customers” than the conventional low-tech approaches of the past, said Baheal Chairman Fu Gang in an interview.

In addition, Baheal Intelligent Technology has developed a cloud-based hospital information system from which a patient’s local pharmacist can, for example, access a doctor’s recommendation for treatment of diabetes, a disease that affects 11% of the Chinese population, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Baheal also offers a self-learning system used by 600,000 physicians.

Development of such a digitally integrated healthcare ecosystem will not only help patients make more-informed decisions on doctors and hospitals, but it will potentially lower costs as well, Fu said.

Digital transformation

For Baheal, with its roots in drug distribution, manufacturing facilities in New York and a venture investment office in Los Angeles, the growing portfolio of technology services represents a transformation of its own business. “We’re among the forerunners in moving everything to the cloud in the healthcare industry,” Fu said during an on-stage conversation with Roger Li, Managing Director of Oracle China, at Oracle CloudWorld in Shanghai on 7 November.

Baheal’s new offerings come as more businesses in China are adopting cloud services for the first time. The software-as-a-service market in China is poised to grow from $1.1 billion in 2017 to $3.5 billion in 2021, according to IDC.

Fu aims for Baheal to improve service quality across China’s healthcare system, bringing a human touch to the digital modernisation underway. “We need to be kind and smart,” he said at Oracle CloudWorld.

A student of Buddhism, a few years ago Fu jotted down his thoughts on the principles of Buddhism, which he would sometimes share with friends and colleagues via text messages. In 2013, he compiled these missives in a book titled I Am Naturally Like a Drop of Dew, a reference to the way moisture nourishes seedlings. Along with insights on happiness and enlightenment, there are sections on leadership and innovation.

John Foley is Senior Director of Oracle's Content Central organisation.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Rawf8

Originally published here.

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