China is at the moment the second largerest pharmaceutical market in the world. In a country with a rapidly increasing average age and a very low percentage of GDP still being spent on pharmaceutical spending, the opportunities for developing pharma are enormous.
E-commerce in healthcare market
These potentialities have obviously not escaped from Alibaba, the Chinese colossus of the e-commerce. Similary, Amazon has recenty become a pharmaceutical company and, with the recent acquisition of Pillpack, also a pharmacy.
But the Jack Ma philosophy is different: Alibaba wants to pose itself as an “ecosystem” and, specifically, “the country’s best health ecosystem” and in this way it is operating, with the aim of implementing its” Double H “(health and happiness) strategy.
Alibaba Health acquires 25% stake of Guizhou Ensure Chain with the aim of “exploring and expanding new sales models” and improving in this way the economic accessibility to health care for one billion people.
The operation follows another strategic collaboration agreement of Alibaba with Merck to provide Chinese patients and their families with improved access to patient-centric healthcare services. The collaboration will focus on the areas of drug track and trace and internet health services, and to jointly explore areas such as pharmaceutical e-commerce and artificial intelligence.
An unprecedented disintermediation process
In China, in the health sector, Alibaba is joined by WeDoctor, a platform that operates in four main sectors: health, cloud, insurance and pharmaceutical products. The numbers? 2,700 hospitals, 240 thousand doctors, 15 thousand pharmacies, 27 million users / month, 160 million registered users, 5.5 the current value in billions of dollars of the startup.
Data is the new oil
Whatever the business model, the real power is the data that these operators have access to and the ability to manage them through machine learning algorithms, which allow users to profile and to implement highly targeted marketing actions; not to mention the information they could provide to insurance and funds.
Can we even glimpse the revolution that is already underway?