Real-time telemedicine: A virtual bridge for two Chinese hospitals and their patients

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, healthcare providers are turning to technology to alleviate a resource crunch and maintain high levels of patient service 

Demands from the current pandemic are stretching medical services and some patients are struggling to access the healthcare they need. This is especially true for those in more remote areas.

To help ease some of the strain, two hospitals in China’s western Sichuan Province — Chengdu Third People’s Hospital and Huili County People’s Hospital — have introduced a remote consultation platform to provide expert consultations online and in real-time. Doctors on duty can connect directly with patients, anytime and anywhere, via their laptops.

The platform has been built on Azure and was developed by Yilijie Shanghai Information Technology Co., Ltd. in collaboration with Microsoft.

Telemedicine platform goes online in 10 days

All stages of development, along with platform testing and personnel training, were completed in just 10 days. “It is an innovation that solves an urgent need for timely patient treatment,” says Dr. Liang Yongxin, Dean of Huili County People’s Hospital.

The platform was officially launched in a virtual event via Microsoft Teams on March 13. Since then, physicians from the two hospitals have been able to meet the needs of patients remotely. They have also been able to connect with other doctors to discuss diagnoses and treatment plans. Using voice and video conferencing technologies, doctors can share medical records and image data with security.

Dr. Xu Junbo from the Chengdu No.3 People’s Hospital says the new platform is serving as a bridge with Huili County People’s Hospital. There are now plans to widen its use across more medical departments to boost service and management so that local people will receive better healthcare.

“We’re very grateful that Microsoft has built a platform for our medical and health development, and for the trust of the Huili County People’s Hospital. I sincerely hope that in the future, we will work together in-depth in the internet medical work and achieve fruitful results,” says Dr. Xu.

Looking toward the development of digital medicine

Microsoft China’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Horace Chow says the response to the pandemic has highlighted how cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, and other technologies can be applied to healthcare.

“With the significant commitment of partners and medical institutions at all levels, Microsoft hopes to harness our technological innovation and support the healthcare sector not only to fight COVID-19, but also lay a solid technological foundation for the future of medicine and healthcare,” he says.

“Technology is helping in the battle against COVID-19. As innovation continually becomes embedded within healthcare operations and services, there will be continued developments in digital healthcare, paving the way for a healthier future for all.”



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