China's leading cardiologists call for integrated medicine

China's leading cardiologists are calling for the nationwide promotion of integrated medicine - the combination of practices and methods of alternative medicine with conventional biomedicine - on patients with heart disease.

Hu Dayi, one of the country's top cardio physicians, said during the 2013 Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology on Friday that nearly 70 percent of the country's medical costs are for chronic diseases.

He explained that integrated medicine emphasizes the importance of the relation between the practitioner and the patient and focuses on the whole person, including his or her wellness or health rather than just treating diseases.

"Patient-centered care is a crucial principle leading the practice. Also, shared decision-making by both patient and physician is also important," he said.

John G. Harold, president of the American College of Cardiology, said physicians in the US are asked to make electronic records, which are available to both the doctor and patient. The whole treatment procedure, even letters between patients and doctors, can be shared by e-records.

Through a convenient communication, such as an e-record or online information platform, a doctor could supervise medical care after treatment, which will improve a patient's condition significantly.

A report in July said China now has more than 260 million people diagnosed with chronic diseases, which account for 85 percent of all deaths.

Heart disease ranks as the first cause in China for the death of patients with chronic diseases, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.