SEOUL, Feb. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — After the government temporarily lifted regulations on online medical diagnosis and treatments amid the COVID-19 pandemic, competition is heating up among new players to get the upper hand in the online medical connectivity market.
Goodoc, a search/reservation service for medical services in the country, saw its monthly active users (MAU) reach 247,358 last month, up 30.2 percent from a year before, according to data tracker IGAWorks.
During the same period, the MAU of telemedicine service platform Dr. Now shot up to 158,917, a 20-fold increase from a year ago.
The number of such apps is picking up in recent days thanks to the increase in the number of COVID-19 patients who are undergoing treatment at home.
These companies are seeing the temporary opening of the telemedicine market, which had previously been closed like an impregnable fortress, as a golden opportunity.
Based on expectations that it would be difficult for the government to ban non-face-to-face medical diagnosis even after the end of the pandemic, they are stepping up efforts to establish a foothold in the market ahead of their competitors.
“With a well-established insurance system and a larger number of hospital beds in proportion to land size, South Korea is believed to provide good access to medical services. However, medical access is not simply a matter of distance,” said an industry official.
“There are many cases in which accessibility to medical services deteriorates due to physical and time constraints, including salary workers in urban areas, and parents and children who have difficulty going out.”
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)