Ali Health pens tie-up for online health testing platform

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 30, 2015 9:25 PM

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's healthcare subsidiary will tie-up with Zhejiang DiAn Diagnostics Co Ltd to help develop an online hospital platform, the diagnostics firm said in a filing late on Monday.

The firm said it had signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Alibaba Health Information Technology Ltd to explore an online health testing platform - part of Ali Health's drive to take healthcare services online.

Ali Health is looking to leverage technology to overhaul China's fragmented healthcare market, which suffers from an under-supply of doctors, snarling queues and a wide gap between urban and rural healthcare.

"The two sides will use mobile internet technologies, and leverage the natural strengths of our respective models and technologies to break through the limitations in the e-commerce healthcare sphere," Zhejiang DiAn said in the statement.

The firm focuses on medical diagnostics, including laboratory testing and health examinations.

Alibaba did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ali Health, which has also recently tied up with a local pharmacy chain and a software firm, is eyeing a slice of China's online pharmaceutical market as the country gears up to remove restrictions over the sale of prescription drugs online - a potentially a multi-billion dollar market.

Beijing is trying to overhaul its healthcare market and stretch already thin resources create accessible and affordable healthcare for its near 1.4 billion people. China's healthcare bill is estimated to hit $1 trillion by 2020.

Shares in Ali Health have been suspended since March 23.

(Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Miral Fahmy)