Reducing the price of genetic medicine and DNA testing could dramatically reduce the subsequent cost burden of treatment for patients and their families, making healthcare more affordable for individuals and the government alike, especially as China has particularly serious health risks and an aging population, said CEO of BGI Miracle Light, Liu Liang, at a panel at TechCrunch Shenzhen.

Healthcare provision in China poses many problems to its users. It is often prohibitively expensive, varies hugely in terms of quality between institutions and regions, and trust of the medical profession is at rock bottom. Health insurance is complicated and even those with coverage generally have to pay hospital bills upfront then wait for reimbursement. It is not uncommon for an illness to push an entire extended family into dire financial straits.

“The year 2014 was a landmark year for Chinese people’s awareness of their own health. The most encouraging situation for the application of genetic medicine is happening here in China. Coming back to cancer, it’s our concerted effort and will to beat it, but it’s not easy. In the last year, 6 million more people developed cancer in China and 2.5 million died of the disease. It’s genetic medicine that’s going to rid us of this disease,” said Liu Liang who was participating in the “Biotech, Medtech and Genomics Opportunities” panel.

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Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...