Recently, CB Insights, a world-renowned data think tank, released a list of the top 150 global digital health companies. Seven Chinese digital health startups are on the list, second only to the United States in total, ranking second in the world. After winning the top spot last year, WeDoctor, a digital health company from Hangzhou, China, once again won the list of unicorn companies with the highest public valuation this year. It is understood that as early as 2017, CB Insights listed WeDoctor as the No. 1 medical technology beast in China.
The CB Insights Global 150 Digital Health list is the world’s first “digital health” concept list, and it is recognized as the most authoritative list in the field of digital health globally. This year is the second time CB Insights has released the list. The list selects 150 innovative technology companies that provide solutions for the transformation of the medical and health industry through digital technology from more than 8,000 companies around the world, covering areas including smart clinics, screening and diagnosis, 12 fields including new drug development and drug supply chain.
In 2018, the World Health Organization redefines “digital health”, unifying the concepts of electronic health, medical informatics, health informatics, telemedicine, telehealth and mobile medicine under “digital health”. The outbreak of the epidemic in 2020 has brought severe challenges to the world’s public health system, and digital health has played a huge role in the fight against the epidemic. This makes digital health an indispensable and important part of the world’s medical and health system, and at the same time strongly promotes the overall digital upgrade of the health industry.
The list shows that under the stimulus of the COVID-19 epidemic, digital medical services have achieved rapid growth. Among the listed companies, companies providing telemedicine services account for 41% of the total number. Taking WeDoctor as an example, at the beginning of the outbreak of the COVID-19, WeDoctor relied on its digital capabilities to launch WeDoctor’s real-time COVID-19 rescue platform and WeDoctor’s global anti-epidemic platform to provide epidemic updates, online free consultations, psychological consultations, and follow-up purchases in China Medicine and distribution services, while sharing Chinese experience in fighting the epidemic to the world, and supporting overseas Chinese and international people. WeDoctor’s innovative measures have opened up the “air battlefield” for epidemic prevention and control. As of mid-August, the real-time relief platform for COVID-19 has served 2.18 million people, and the total number of visits exceeded 150 million. The global anti-epidemic platform has won more than 170 stations in China. Recommended by foreign embassies and consulates, providing services to 3.26 million people in more than 220 countries and regions.
While digital health is deeply integrated into the public medical and health system, it also plays an increasingly important role in all aspects of the health industry chain. Anand Sanwal, CEO of CB Insights, said that the digital health ranking companies in 2020 will carry out a full range of innovations in all aspects of the value chain, benefiting biopharmaceutical companies, hospitals, patients, insurance companies and other aspects.
As a digital health platform covering the entire industry chain, WeDoctor’s core business involves 8 of the 12 areas released on the list, covering medical, medicine, medical examination, health insurance, medical big data and other fields. Compared with other single-track companies, WeDoctor reflects the value of digital health more comprehensively, which has also become an important reason why it is favored by the capital market for a long time.
By building a digital health community (HMP, Health Maintenance Platform) supported by a digital platform and targeting health, WeDoctor helps the region to comprehensively improve its medical service capabilities and residents’ health level, and reduce the growth rate of medical insurance expenditures. At present, WeDoctor has launched the construction of digital health community in Tianjin, Shandong, Ningxia, Fujian, Hubei and other provinces and cities. By connecting more than 7,200 hospitals in China, more than 250,000 doctors and more than 200 million registered users with real names, WeDoctor enables the value of data elements to be continuously explored and enhanced, thereby fully empowering the digital upgrade of the health industry.
It is worth noting that since the beginning of this year, China has continued to open policies to encourage the development of the digital health industry. Among them, the opening of medical insurance payment policies is expected to open a trillion-level payment market for the digital health industry. Only two companies on the list have achieved breakthroughs in the payment of the national medical insurance system, one is WeDoctor from China, and the other is Doctor On Demand from the United States. It is understood that Doctor On Demand gradually connected with the U.S. Medicare in May of this year, and WeDoctor began exploring related fields in 2015 and has now achieved online medical insurance payments in many places in China. The further opening of relevant policies will accelerate the integration of digital health platforms and medical security systems, and gradually form a business structure in which the national medical security system and the commercial insurance system are mutually complementary.
The report shows that as of August 10, 150 companies on the list have raised more than US$20 billion in total financing, with more than 600 financing transactions, and more than 900 investors participated. These companies include mature companies with good financial backgrounds, start-ups with a presence in the market, and start-ups that focus on scientific research, but they all have great development potential and market prospects. The epidemic has further enhanced the development of digital health companies.