China’s new rules on telemedicine and Internet hospitals - some things clarified, some questions left unanswered

China's new rules for Internet-based medical services – telemedicine, Internet hospitals and Internet-based diagnosis came into force on 17 July 2018.

The new rules do provide a more robust regulatory framework for guiding participants in these rapidly developing sectors, and send a positive signal that China is starting to realise the potential of these areas, particularly in providing services to patients in underserved populations, as well as clarifying certain issues relating to Internet-based medical services that were not addressed in previous legislation. However, they also leave some key questions unanswered; in particular, how cross-border telemedicine services will be regulated, and they do not address what other licenses or permits may be required to engage in these activities.

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