Edited by Jiang Xiaowei. Subtitles by Cai Wenjun.
Big data, 5G technology, artificial intelligence and Internet innovation are making medical appointments easier, more efficient and convenient. In fact, a patient can now carry out the entire process by using a smartphone.
Digital medicine is involved in every facet of medical services, from reservations, online queuing and digital medical records to payments and medical record checks.
At Ruijin Hospital, a patient can reserve outpatient services through different online platforms, and the reservation interval is as short as 30 minutes in some departments. Patients can reserve not only a time slot to see a doctor, but also a parking space at the hospital.
A pre-service system is also available after making an online reservation, through which patients can answer medical questions while waiting for a doctor. The system gives doctors a faster, better understanding of patients, while enhancing communication and efficiency between doctors and patients. It shortens the time it takes doctors to review medical records from five to 1.5 minutes.
Patients need not take their medical record books to appointments, as all data is available in a digital version. Doctors can easily check all previous medical records. Medical histories from different hospitals are also available in the system, so patients do not receive redundant, unnecessary tests. A total of 44 tests and checks are recognized between hospitals.
In addition to streamlining the process of seeing a doctor, intelligent medicine enables patients to receive high-end services near their homes instead of traveling long distances to crowded public hospitals.
A patient surnamed Xu who lives in Qingpu District has benefited from the Yangtze River Delta Region Intelligent Hospital program, which allows her to receive remote diagnoses and guidance from leading experts at Zhongshan Hospital.
Previously, Xu’s family had to spend three to four hours traveling from her home in rural Qingpu to Zhongshan in downtown Shanghai every day, or rented a house near the hospital when she was hospitalized there.
Through the program, Xu can be hospitalized at Zhujiajiao People’s Hospital near her home, and doctors in Zhongshan can hold real-time consultations and group discussions about her condition while monitoring machines and conducting CT and ultrasound checks through long-distance operations.
“Intelligent hospitals are a combination of offline and online services,” said Zhu Yanjun, who is in charge of the program at Zhongshan Hospital. “Long-distance outpatient services, online group discussions, remote CT and ultrasound checks and pathological diagnoses, sample checks for complicated tests and long-distance patient checks are all achieved through the intelligent system.”
Dr Zhang Qiang, founder of a doctors group and a vascular surgeon, said intelligent medicine should save patients’ trouble of seeing a doctor.
“Online consultations can solve many problems and answer many patient questions about certain diseases, and simple testing kits can be delivered to a patient’s home for checkups and sent back to hospitals for data analysis,” Zhang said. “Many outpatient services in hospitals are consultations, which can be conducted online. Patients, especially the elderly, needn’t go all the way to a hospital for chronic and common diseases.”
“Making medical care more convenient for patients, and improving the efficiency of medical services and patients’ experiences are the key targets for intelligent medicine,” he added.