Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Merck and Tencent bring digital healthcare to China

Steve Rogerson
February 5, 2019

Science and technology company Merck is collaborating with internet value added services provider Tencent to bring intelligent digital healthcare services to China.
The collaboration will primarily focus on increasing public disease awareness and providing more accessible healthcare services via digital platforms in China, by leveraging the Merck's scientific expertise combined with Tencent's technology in the fields of internet and artificial intelligence.
"In this collaboration with Tencent, we will jointly explore the innovative combination of patient-centric healthcare management and digital platforms, which brings us one step closer to reaching our mission of transforming the lives of 40 million patients in China by 2025," said Rogier Janssens (pictured), general manager of Merck's biopharma business in China. "The healthcare business of Merck in China is committed to developing a multi-dimensional intelligent medical ecosystem together with more cross-industry partners for the benefit of patients."
Merck and Tencent plan to create intelligent digital healthcare services, increasing public knowledge of diseases and improving patients' understanding of disease symptoms and effective treatments. The collaboration will also provide patients with more convenient and smarter medical services, helping to manage chronic diseases better.
"Tencent launched a major strategic upgrade in 2018," said Zhang Meng, vice president of Tencent Medical. “While we continue to stay committed to consumer-based internet, we are also actively embracing industrial internet, with the healthcare field being an important focus. We want to build on advanced internet platforms and artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing capabilities, and work with partners to make healthcare in China more convenient and efficient for all patients."
The focus areas will include all treatment areas of Merck's healthcare business in China: in allergies, Merck and Tencent will explore digital services that increase the awareness of allergy symptoms and encourage adherence to treatment plans; in the area of infertility, the collaboration will work to enhance awareness of disease and treatment options and help patients who are in need of fertility resources to shorten the process of medical treatment. The two companies will also focus on diabetes, thyroid disorders and cardiovascular diseases, as well as oncology such as metastatic colorectal cancer.
In the future, Merck and Tencent will continue to extend the scope of collaboration to other areas such as exploring the use of medical service models based on AI doctors to provide more comprehensive disease awareness education and treatment services for metastatic colorectal cancer and other diseases.
Merck is driving digitalisation as an integral part of its strategy in China. With big data insights, new platforms and partnerships, Merck aims to adopt a more integrated approach to contribute to the key goals of the national Healthy China 2030 blueprint and to safeguard the health of all Chinese citizens.
Merck operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. It has around 51,000 employees. In 2017, Merck generated sales of €15.3bn in 66 countries. Tencent was founded in Shenzhen, China, in 1998.