Alibaba will sell a number of its Tmall Pharmacy units to Alibaba Health Information Technology
Chinese juggernaut Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has announced its decision to sell a number of its online pharmacy business units in a new $1.35bn deal. Through the sale, Alibaba will gain up to HK$10.6bn in newly issued shares of Hong-Kong listed Alibaba Health, Alizila has reported.
Units which will move to the digital health subsidiary Alibaba Health from the company’s B2C platform Tmall Pharmacy will consist of a multitude of healthcare products and services, as well as medical devices, making this division its core healthcare arm.
“Healthcare is a strategically important area for Alibaba Group with strong growth potential. This transaction is a logical evolution for the continued development of Alibaba Health into our healthcare flagship platform,” explained Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang.
“Alibaba Health’s knowledge and network, in combination with Alibaba Group’s consumer insights and technology, will enable us to create the best healthcare ecosystem in China.”
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With rivals such as WeDoctor and Ping An Healthcare dominating recent headlines, it was only a matter of time before Alibaba followed suit to gain an edge over such a competitive market, cater towards ongoing consumer trends and support vendors to provide exceptional patient care across the industry.
“Alibaba Group has been very supportive to the development of Alibaba Health as the group’s flagship platform in the healthcare sector,” noted Alibaba Health CEO Leo Shen.
“The transaction strengthens Alibaba Health’s market leadership and recognises our contribution to the healthcare industry in China. It will allow us to expand our business by adding more complementary categories and enabling us to have deeper engagement with more participants.”
Upon completion, Alibaba will see its equity ownership and voting interest in Alibaba Health rise to 56.2% and 67.5% respectively.
Introducing Dosis - the AI powered dosing platform
Cloud-based platform Dosis uses AI to help patients and clinicians tailor their medication plans. Shivrat Chhabra, CEO and co-founder, tells us how it works.
When and why was Dosis founded?
Divya, my co-founder and I founded Dosis in 2017 with the purpose of creating a personalised dosing platform. We see personalisation in so many aspects of our lives, but not in the amount of medication we receive. We came across some research at the University of Louisville that personalised the dosing of a class of drugs called ESAs that are used to treat chronic anaemia. We thought, if commercialised, this could greatly benefit the healthcare industry by introducing precision medicine to drug dosing.
The research also showed that by taking this personalised approach, less drugs were needed to achieve the same or better outcomes. That meant that patients were exposed to less medication, so there was a lower likelihood of side effects. It also meant that the cost of care was reduced.
What is the Strategic Anemia Advisor?
Dosis’s flagship product, Strategic Anemia Advisor (SAA), personalises the dosing of Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents (ESAs). ESAs are a class of drugs used to treat chronic anaemia, a common complication of chronic kidney disease.
SAA takes into account a patient’s previous ESA doses and lab levels, determines the patient’s unique response to the drug and outputs an ESA dose recommendation to keep the patient within a specified therapeutic target range. Healthcare providers use SAA as a clinical decision support tool.
What else is Dosis working on?
In the near term, we are working on releasing a personalised dosing module for IV iron, another drug that’s used in tandem with ESAs to treat chronic anaemia. We’re also working on personalising the dosing for the three drugs used to treat Mineral Bone Disorder. We’re very excited to expand our platform to these new drugs.
What are Dosis' strategic goals for the next 2-3 years?
We strongly believe that personalised dosing will be the standard of care within the next decade, and we’re honored to be a part of making that future a reality. In the next few years, we see Dosis entering partnerships with other companies that operate within value-based care environments, where tools like ours that help reduce cost while maintaining or improving outcomes are extremely useful.
What do you think AI's greatest benefits to healthcare are?
If designed well, AI in healthcare allows for a practical and usable way to deploy solutions that would not be feasible otherwise. For example, it’s possible for someone to manually solve the mathematical equations necessary to personalise drug dosing, but it is just not practical. AI in healthcare offers an exciting path forward for implementing solutions that for so long have appeared impractical or impossible.