While rural healthcare facilities certainly exist in China, many who live in remote areas wait until their health condition worsens then travel to Beijing or Shanghai to receive medical care. The reasons that many forgo their rural healthcare facilities are many; some question the quality of care, while politics plays a role in the reason for others.
What this means is that hospitals in China are severely overcrowded, which is one of the areas telemedicine stands to improve healthcare. Another area of improvement is to treat the patient before it progresses to a need for emergency care or a hospital stay.
According to a report report from Yahoo Finance, there are currently over 845 million mobile phones in China, with the average person spending three hours a day on their smartphone. On top of that, 83% of Chinese Internet users access the web via their smartphone. Combine that with the fact that over 54% of doctors in China are on social media sites such as Weibo and WeChat, the stage is already set for effective telemedicine.
For now, many rural healthcare facilities are exploring the option of offering on-site video conferencing with specialists in well-respected hospitals and medical facilities in larger cities. And all seems to be going as well or better than expected.