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China’s Ping An links with Grab in healthcare venture

Aug 25. 2018
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By The Nation weekend

5,176 Viewed

ChinESE healthcare services platform Ping An Healthcare and Technology,  also known as Ping An Good Doctor, has joined with Grab Holdings to set up a joint venture company to deliver online healthcare services in Southeast Asia.

The joint venture, the first of its kind to operate regionally, aims to transform health services in the region. It will provide an array of integrated medical services such as artificial intelligence (AI), assisted online medical consultations, medicine delivery and appointments booking through an online platform. 

The joint venture will work with governments, hospitals, doctors and other key stakeholders and seek partnerships to ensure local market needs are met, according to a company press release.

The joint venture will utilise GrabPay, a leading digital wallet serving Southeast Asia, to complete transactions. The service will launch in select countries in the first quarter of next year.

Ping An Good Doctor (PAGD) is the top online healthcare player in China, according to the release. With more than 200 million users, Ping An Good Doctor delivers healthcare solutions through its online platform using innovative AI technology that efficiently guides the online medical consultation process. Together with Grab’s geographic footprint, deep local market knowledge and broad reach as evidenced by over 100 million downloads, the joint venture hopes to address the burgeoning healthcare needs of Southeast Asia.

By 2030, Southeast Asia will become the world’s fourth largest economy, and faces rapidly growing healthcare needs and accompanying challenges. Challenges include a lack of adequate medical infrastructure in some countries, a rural-urban divide when it comes to the accessibility of doctors, and inefficiencies on the consumer end when needing to see the doctor. For example, in Indonesia, there is only one physician for every 5,000 people, which is significantly lower than high-income countries who enjoy three or four physicians per 1,000 people.

Efficient and timely healthcare solutions delivered digitally have the potential to transform the industry and improve medical outcomes.

Anthony Tan, co-founder and group CEO, notes that this move is Grab’s first venture into online healthcare. PAGD is an industry leader in online healthcare and has developed a proven business model around a complex challenge in China, he says. 

Opening up access

“We believe everyone should have access to high-quality and affordable healthcare. Together with PAGD, we will deliver affordable healthcare through technology. This has the potential to make a huge impact in the lives of our families and communities we serve across Southeast Asia,” said Tan.

Wang Tao, chairman and CEO of Ping An Good Doctor, predicts that Ping An Good Doctor will become a globally influential Internet healthcare ecosystem platform. 

“It will replicate our successful model in the Chinese market to the overseas market and export its mature technologies and services, resolving medical issues worldwide,” he said. 

“We are excited to work with Grab to tap the growth potential of Southeast Asia, providing outstanding one-stop medical health services to hundreds of millions of local users,” added Tao.

Ping An Good Doctor is the latest partner to join GrabPlatform, launched in July 2018. The platform boasts a suite of technologies that enable partners to access components of Grab’s technology including transport, logistics and payments. 

Through GrabPlatform, Grab’s strategic partners can leverage Grab’s user base, offline distribution network and technology solutions customised for Southeast Asia to more quickly and efficiently expand across the region. 

By working with partners, Grab aims to provide users more relevant and valuable services. Today, users across 225 cities in eight countries, can use the Grab app to order food, hail a ride, send a parcel, order groceries or read news. 

Grab will be the first mobile technology start-up in Southeast Asia to hit US$1 billion (Bt32.75 billion) in revenue this year. Grab has over 7.1 million micro-entrepreneurs, including drivers and agents, on its platform.

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