(Hong Kong, Shanghai, 31 December 2020) Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (hereafter “Ping An” or the “Group”, HKEX: 02318; SSE: 601318) leads the world with 1,074 patent applications in the "Top 100 Global Digital Health Patents for 2018-2020", jointly issued by the China Digital Technology Development Working Committee (CDTC) and 01 Caijing magazine. Ping An is followed by Netherlands-headquartered Philips (1,021 applications) and Johnson & Johnson of the US (535 applications).
From 2018-2020, Ping An’s 1,074 digital health patent applications were mainly focused on scenarios of smart diagnosis and treatment assistants, patient record management, medical image processing, medicine management and smart hospital management.
Ping An also ranked first in the country and third in the world with 9,255 patents in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) in the "Top 100 Global AI Patents Ranking for 2018-2020" jointly issued by CDTC and 01 Caijing.
The global digital health patents ranking is a testament to the significant efforts of medical institutions and healthtech companies in China. By country, China also tops the list of global digital health patents with 23,100 applications for 2018-2020, followed by the US (9,100 applications) and Japan (2,700 applications). The CDTC noted that compared with the US, China started later in the development of digital health but industry giants such as Ping An have provided creativity and influence for the development of the digital health field.
Since the State Council issued the Opinions on Promoting the Development of “Internet plus Health Care” in 2018, digital health’s development in China has achieved remarkable results. From 2018 to 2020, nearly 8,000 applicants in China participated in 23,100 patent applications, surpassing developed countries such as the US, Japan and South Korea. China represented more than 50% of patent applications and patent applicants in that time, among a global total of 44,500 digital health patent applications, more than 80 countries and 14,000 applicants, including companies, universities, hospitals, government authorities, research institutions and individuals.
According to the ranking, there are two significant development trends in China’s digital health field: 1) Technology industry giants represented by Ping An, Baidu, Huawei and Tencent entered the field of digital health to compete for the rapidly growing health care market expected to reach RMB16 trillion by 2030; and 2) Looking at the patent applications and the launch of medical devices, the development of smart diagnosis and treatment assistant tools is the focus in the short term.
The global digital health patents list also shows that in addition to medical institutions and healthtech companies, major players from different industries are also involved in the development of digital health sector. In China, these include Ping An from the finance industry, Tencent from the internet industry and Yitu from AI industry.
Since 1996, Ping An has invested in health care development and has accumulated rich experience and strong technological capability. It is committed to actively assist with the execution of “Healthy China”, a national strategy, to improve people’s health, seize market development opportunities and create greater value. As of 30 June 2020, Ping An Good Doctor, the internet medical platform with the highest number of visits in China, provided diagnoses for over 3,000 common diseases for 346 million users, and managed an average of 830,000 consultations a day. Ping An Health Technology Research Institute has built one of the largest medical databases in the world, and has ranked first in six international competitions in medical images. The database covers over 30,000 types of diseases, more than 1 billion medical consultation records, and more than 300 million applications. Ping An Smart Healthcare provides end-to-end solutions to regulatory bodies and the health care system, supporting social health insurers, commercial health insurers, and medical service providers, to ensure the speedy operation of China’s healthcare system.
Ping An’s principle of “serving the country, society and public” through its “finance + ecosystem” strategy, includes a commitment to technological development to achieve world-class standards in areas including fintech, healthtech, AI and blockchain. Ping An has a technology team of nearly 110,000 technology business employees and over 3,000 scientists and has established eight research institutes and 57 laboratories.
Ping An attaches great importance to developing core technologies and securing intellectual property. As of 30 September 2020, Ping An’s technology patent applications increased by 6,654 from the beginning of 2020 to 28,037, more than most other international financial institutions. Of these applications, nearly 96% were invention patents and 6,908 were filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) or abroad. Ping An has ranked first in fintech for published patent applications for two consecutive years. Its multiple technological innovations have received awards in areas including AI and blockchain.
The top 10 enterprises on the global digital health patents ranking are: Ping An (1,074 applications), Philips (1,021 applications), Johnson & Johnson (535 applications), Siemens (503 applications), IBM (395 applications), United Imaging (367 applications), Canon (346 applications), Tencent (251 applications), Samsung (233 applications) and General Electric (221 applications).