Following the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese government announced plans to build a modernised city in the Tongzhou District in the southeast part of the capital. Construction is well underway on what has been called the new magnetic pole of Beijing. The establishment of an international medical centre is a key part of the development.
Plans for the Beijing International Medical Service Area were officially announced in Beijing on 17 September 2012. The project hopes to attract leading global clinical, research and educational institutions and investment agencies dedicated to the development of China’s healthcare industry. Part of the new city of Tongzhou, the centre will encompass a “medical and industrial chain” able to meet the diverse healthcare requirements of the surrounding population and beyond.
The first phase of the Beijing International Medical Service Area will occupy 3 sq km. It ultimately will represent 30% of the city’s overall 48-sq-km radius.
As part of its research for the project, a delegation from the Beijing International Medical Service Area visited industrial hubs and medical centres in five countries and consulted with experts from the Harvard Medical International Alliance, Baylor College of Medicine and other institutions to set achievable goals for the centre. They were summarized as follows:
- Provide high-end health services.
- Attract the top medical education and research resources.
- Build the country’s first healthcare industry chain in which social capital representatives and commercial medical insurance companies. collaborate to establish a network of international-grade medical services.
- Target middle income and wealthy customers.
US-based medical facilities planning company HDR was contracted by the Beijing International Medical Service Area to conceptualize and lay out the overall centre. IBM and GE Healthcare have been invited to build advanced information systems leveraging cloud computing and the Internet of Things to enable telemedicine and related technologies.
The government will coordinate resources to seek investment partners and has announced that it will recruit international medical institutions through a bidding process.
Key phase I infrastructure projects will be completed by 2018, according to officials. A global promotional campaign will be launched to attract experts from internationally renowned medical establishments as well as representatives from leading investment agencies.
When completed, the new city reportedly will fully integrate consumer technology with healthcare services, allowing residents to access healthcare information at all times.