China’s first digital COPD healthcare management ecosystem launched in Yinchuan to enhance innovative chronic respiratory disease management

Aiming to boost “Internet+ healthcare” and upgrade the smart, tiered treatment of COPD

Today, Yinchuan Health Commission and GSK China signed a strategic partnership agreement on the Management of Chronic Respiratory Diseases in Yinchuan (hereinafter referred to as the “Programme”). The Programme aims to build China’s first digital COPD healthcare management ecosystem by initiating an innovative end-to-end COPD management model based on “Internet+ healthcare” and “smart, tiered diagnosis and treatment”. Through the smart healthcare pilot system for the management of chronic respiratory diseases, the Programme helps to improve China’s overall management capabilities in the standardised diagnosis and treatment of COPD.


Breaking the bottleneck of COPD management in China through digital innovations

The latest research shows chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has become a major chronic disease in China, on par with hypertension and diabetes, but with a poor overall management. China has approximately 100 million COPD patients, 80% of whom have not received appropriate treatment [1]. A lack of disease awareness not only delays diagnosis, but also seriously affects patients’ treatment compliance and poses a major threat to their life and health.

As an important step in promoting “Internet+ healthcare”, the City of Yinchuan today announced the launch of China’s first digital COPD healthcare management ecosystem tapping on the advantages of information and Internet technologies in the field of healthcare. The Programme spans multiple dimensions including COPD screenings, tiered diagnosis and treatment, patient self-management as well as health studies based on big data. The Programme serves as a model in the industry and demonstrate the significance of exploring digital health innovation as well as standardised COPD treatment in China.


Xiaofei Ma, Director of Yinchuan Health Commission and President of the Yinchuan No. 1 People’s Hospital, said: “In recent years, Yinchuan has been exploring the collaboration between Internet and healthcare, break information barriers, and increase the accessibility of healthcare resources. The digital COPD healthcare management programme that launched today is a pilot of this vision. With favourable policies and support from government platforms and systems, we believe that this programme will help to drive the overall improvement of COPD awareness, diagnosis and treatment at a primary level in Yinchuan.”


Building a multi-dimensional pilot system for the smart management of chronic respiratory diseases in China

The COPD digital healthcare management ecosystem in Yinchuan will act in concert with the “Xing Fu Hu Xi” (Happy Breath) China COPD Tiered Treatment and Diagnosis Project, with the Yinchuan No. 1 People’s Hospital as the central axis point. The Programme will connect leading experts from tertiary healthcare institutions around the country with district/county-level healthcare institutions across the city to offer disease diagnosis and treatment training and continuing education opportunities for local primary physicians, and will help drive comprehensive, tiered COPD treatment coverage across all levels of healthcare institutions in Yinchuan.

Wang Xu, Head of the Department of Respiratory Diseases and Critical Care Medicine at the Yinchuan No. 1 People’s Hospital, said: “COPD patients are distributed across the primary care level, which makes primary diagnosis and treatment the first line for COPD management. In order to improve the overall COPD management status, we must promote continuing education and professional training for local and general physicians, optimise the allocation of healthcare resources, enhance patients’ self-management skills, and fundamentally elevate the capabilities of local healthcare institutions in providing standardised diagnosis and treatment for COPD.”

In addition, this Programme plans to promote the application of cutting-edge information technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI), in chronic respiratory disease management, and to seek new innovations in digital disease management. This will include the set-up of a digital health innovation centre for respiratory diseases, establishment of an integrated COPD management big data and building up an end-to-end digital COPD management platform through collaboration among online health management solutions and patient management system.

Furthermore, this Programme will actively drive efforts to promote family doctor services and innovative grassroots healthcare services, including smart pharmacies that will initially sell OTC drugs and drugs not covered by insurance. The smart pharmacies will gradually cover major community hospitals as well as public locations such as grocery stores and entrances to residential communities across Yinchuan, enabling patients to enjoy quality “Internet+ healthcare” services closer to home. Through these measures, this Programme aims to create a closed-loop, smart healthcare ecosystem from early screening and intervention through end-to-end disease management for patients.

 “GSK has over 30 years of experience in the respiratory area in China, and is committed to improving public healthcare capabilities in chronic airway diseases in China including COPD,” said Fabio Landazabal, Senior Vice President of GSK Emerging Markets. “It’s a great honour for us to provide comprehensive support for the digital COPD management ecosystem in Yinchuan. We hope this national pilot programme, based on ‘Internet+ healthcare’ and ‘smart, tiered diagnosis and treatment’, can provide an reference for China’s digital health innovation as well as the standardised treatment and end-to-end management of COPD, while broadly benefiting patients and contributing to the ‘Healthy China 2030’ initiative.”



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[1] Wang C. et al. Prevalence and risk factors of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in China (the China Pulmonary Health [CPH] study): a national cross-sectional study (2018) The Lancet 2018; 391 (10131).