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New in China — AI Ambulances and Robot Doctors

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Robot doctorChannel News Asia

In the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, an ambulance speeds through traffic on a wave of green lights, helped along by an artificial intelligence (AI) system and big data.

The system, which involves sending information to a centralized computer linked to the city’s transport networks, is part of a trial by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The Chinese tech giant is hoping to use its cloud and data systems to tackle issues hobbling China’s healthcare system like snarled city traffic, long patient queues and a lack of doctors.

Alibaba’s push into healthcare reflects a wider trend in China, where technology firms are racing to shake up a creaking state-run health sector and take a slice of spending that McKinsey & Co estimates will hit $1 trillion (US )by 2020.

Tencent-backed WeDoctor, which offers online consultations and doctor appointments, raised $500 million (US) in May at a valuation of $5.5 billion (US). Ping An Good Doctor, a similar platform backed by Ping An Insurance, raised $1.1 billion (US) in an IPO this year.

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© 2018 Mediacorp Pte Ltd

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