Healthcare start-up TheCareVoice raises $2 million in investment
The platform will...
Established in 2013, healthcare start-up The CareVoice has recently raised $2 million in investment to further develop its services.
The platform will support citizens in rating their healthcare experiences across the healthcare industry in China, providing valuable insights in where healthcare providers could improve current services and treatments.
The recommendation app will support local communities and workers covered by insurer’s who utilise CareVoice. The investment will also see the company further its expansion into Southeast Asia. The app is extensive, in order to reach all ages of the population.
The Chinese healthcare industry is ripe for innovation – increased ageing populations due to the one child policy implemented in 1979 has increased the demand for new technologies and the transformation of traditional healthcare practices and insurance companies.
“Key players such as AXA, Ping’An, and Chubb became customers of The CareVoice, and the onboarding rate of newly-insured members has increased 10 times, reaching more than 50%,” noted Geoffrey Handley, General Partner at Haitao Capital.
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By 2020, McKinsey & Co have predicted that the Chinese healthcare market will reach $1 trillion, where younger generations will increasingly look at solutions to help alleviate the strain.
The boom in private hospitals adopting international standards of patient care has also led the industry to up its game to provide healthcare that is not only exceptional, but works for the consumer and not the other way around.
“Healthcare has been the single area that probably everyone can foresee globally an enormous amount of capital and investment,” reflected Peter Fuhrman, Chairman of China First Capital told the Asia Private Equity Forum in Hong Kong.
The number of new hospitals, particularly in the private sector has risen significantly, leading to increased demand for medical professionals to enter the field, and cater towards specialties reflecting growing healthcare issues in China. One such example is pollution, which has led to a steady risen the number of lung cancer cases across the country. It is therefore imperative that new technologies within the medical field are bought to the forefront to support this market.
Advances in health "must ensure self-sovereign identity"
The UK government has announced that from September onwards COVID-19 vaccine passports will be necessary to gain entry into places with large crowds, such as nightclubs.
This has reignited the debate between those who believe having proof of vaccinations will enable people to gather in public places and travel safely, and those who view the digital certificates as an attack on personal freedom.
The arguments have increased in intensity since the recent announcement to drop COVID-19 restrictions in England, in a move to reopen the economy that has attracted fierce criticism both domestically and overseas.
Cross-party ministers are set to defy the government’s latest plans to introduce vaccine passports over civil liberties concerns. A number of MPs have already signed the Big Brother Watch declaration against “Covid status certification to deny individuals access to general services, businesses or jobs” in recent months.
However Mark Shaw, CEO of Tento Applied Sciences, says the Big Brother Watch campaign is based on false assumptions. “Big Brother Watch puts forward a compelling argument based around civil liberties, but some of the assumptions they make are simply incorrect” he says.
“For example, the BBW campaign claims that all Covid passes are discriminatory, counterproductive and would lead to British citizens having to share personal health information with anyone in authority, from bouncers to bosses. However, there are already privacy-first digital wallets that give individuals the freedom to store and share anonymised medical documents, work credentials and other types of documentation quickly, simply, and securely.
“I wholeheartedly agree that individuals should not be required to share their own personal health information with unknown third parties or with anyone in authority who demands it" Shaw adds. "But I strongly disagree with the suggestion that ‘events and businesses are either safe to open for everyone, or no one’. It creates a false dichotomy that either everyone is safe, or nobody is safe. If employers or event organisers don’t take action to properly manage workplace or venue safety, then they risk curtailing the safety and freedom of movement for the majority."
The subject of personal health data is under scrutiny in the UK at the moment, following controversial plans for the NHS to share patient data with third parties. These have been put on hold following public criticism.
Meanwhile a new report has found that the majority of the British public is willing to embrace digital healthcare tools such as apps and digital therapies prescribed by a trusted healthcare professional.
Shaw adds: “The vital point to make is this: innovations in health technology must ensure self-sovereign identity. This means the data held about an individual is owned by the individual and stored on their device. And, in the case of medical data, that data can be delivered from healthcare professionals to the device in an encrypted format, and the user chooses how they share their information."