Japan has legalized telemedicine systems, including non-face-to-face treatment and medicine delivery, making it an attractive market for expansion. Korean startups are exploring options targeting overseas operations. Korean startup Dr. Now, a non-face-to-face medical treatment platform, which announced its plans to establish a corporation in Japan.
The Japanese subsidiary of Dr. Now, led by CEO Jang Ji-ho, aims to capitalize on the well-established telemedicine infrastructure in Japan. The company plans to compete with big tech players like Line Healthcare and Amazon Healthcare by leveraging its expertise and system features developed in Korea.
CEO Jang emphasized Japan’s active market for non-face-to-face treatment and its conducive regulatory environment, setting the stage for Dr. Now’s entry into the Japanese market. The company intends to localize its product to cater to Japanese preferences while drawing on its experience in Korean services.
Korean Startups Target Overseas Markets
Meanwhile, other players in the non-face-to-face medical treatment sector are also eyeing international expansion. Medihere is shifting its headquarters to the United States, focusing on the high-demand US market. On the other hand, LifeSemantics is venturing into Thailand with its ‘Doctor Call Thai’ platform, targeting the growing non-face-to-face medical treatment market in the country.
In Vietnam, LuluMedic has established itself as an overseas medical support service provider, leveraging its non-face-to-face medical services for overseas Koreans. Vietnam’s lenient regulations regarding non-face-to-face treatment have facilitated the company’s expansion efforts.
Challenges for Non-Face-to-Face Medical Treatment in South Korea
Despite the growth potential overseas, the non-face-to-face medical treatment industry in South Korea faces regulatory challenges at home. Strict regulations, including restrictions on first visits and medicine delivery, have hampered growth and forced some companies to downsize or terminate services.
Industry experts express concerns about the slow progress in revising medical laws in South Korea, highlighting potential setbacks for technological advancements in the country. While companies strive to overcome regulatory hurdles, the future of non-face-to-face medical treatment in South Korea remains uncertain amidst ongoing regulatory debates.
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