Liu Chunming almost died after a car crash in July in Taihe, a remote county in China's southeast Jiangxi province, but survived serious abdominal injuries thanks to specialist doctors who led his treatment from 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) away.
From a central "operations room" in the eastern city of Hangzhou, doctors diagnosed and directed treatment for the 48-year-old using live video feeds and software that shares patient scans and files to aid consultation.
Liu's case - one of a growing number of distance health-care cases in China—reflects the rise in digital health care, or eHealth, to bridge the chasm between China's developed health services in large cities and its grassroots rural care.
And that's a multi-billion dollar opportunity for technology firms.
Read MoreNew health care acquisition worth $12.2B
"I'm not sure what would have happened without the distance diagnosis technology," Liu said in a phone interview from his village of Xiakeng in Taihe. He has since recovered.
To be sure, technology - from electronic patient records to remote health care —is already widely used in developed markets such as the United States and Europe, but the sheer size and scale of China make this a huge opportunity for tech firms and a big challenge for doctors, who say China lags far behind.
China's health-care management sector is growing at close to 40 percent a year and will hit $38 billion (23.89 billion pounds) in the next five years, according to local consultancy Raisewin International.
Technology is playing a growing role as Beijing overhauls a health-care management sector blighted by chaotic patient data, underfunded rural health centers, overburdened city hospitals and a nationwide shortage of doctors.
Read MorePoll: Many insured struggle with medical bills
"Technologies like remote health fit China's current situation because we have a large country with a rural-urban gap and medical resources spread unequally," said Yan Jianhua, who oversees the remote health-care program at the state-run Hangzhou hospital unit that treated Liu.
Government-supported programs are looking to leverage specialized software and communication equipment to get the most out of in-demand doctors and specialists at leading hospitals.