Medistar 麦星 Brings Exciting Capabilities to China
Ben has written an excellent Forbes piece on Medistar 麦星 (MaiXing), a new telemedicine start-up entering China’s healthcare space. As Ben writes in his Forbes column, the telemedicine start up brings five business lines to China:
- video consultation between the patient and the physician,
- provision of written second opinions,
- access to healthcare resources via what could be thought of as outbound medical tourism from China,
- genetic testing, and
- training for Chinese hospitals and individual physicians.
These five lines have already been adopted by a variety of Chinese public hospitals.
Within each of these hospitals is a willingness – even need – to be able to offer Chinese families second opinions and possible resources outside of southwestern China.
Medistar 麦星 sees demand from its services coming from individual health consumers in China, with a particular desire to access world-leading medical second-opinions at a reasonable price.
The Medistar 麦星 model relies on tapping into existing customer bases
Early on Medistar 麦星’s team, led by by Wei Dai, Claire Wang and Anthony Ren, decided that they would need to enter hospitals through some sort of Transfer-Operate-Transfer or lease model, so that they could tap into an existing patient base.
As an aside, foreign health service providers figuring out how to position themselves inside of China’s public hospitals is something we have been describing as a necessity in the China market, and you can read more about it here:
It is unclear what the level of buy-in from Medistar 麦星’s partner institutions is going to be, but the sustained value of Medistar to Chinese hospitals may hinge on their ability to maximize the value of bilateral relationship creation. As Ben writes in Forbes:
Institutional buy in from large Chinese hospitals may be more un-even, in particular as these hospitals attempt to work up the value chain and offer high levels of services to VIP patients, many of whom would also be likely clients for Medistar. However, Medistar’s model offers a potential benefit to Chinese hospitals in that it offers the possibility of a bilateral relationship in the west not only between the Chinese hospital and a foreign physician, but potentially the host hospital group as well.
A slew of new telemedicine entrants
Medistar 麦星 is one of several new telemedicine projects by Western providers. Just a few weeks ago Advance Medical, the international telemedicine provider, expanded its offering into China, with an initial focus on providing enterprise services to corporations and insurers. My good friend, Dr. Timothy Foggin, formerly of International SOS in Shanghai, is leading that roll out, and you can read their press release just click on this link, which will download a pdf file..