WeChat For Healthcare?
It doesn’t take a genius to believe that technology is developing faster and arguably smarter than ever. Perhaps one of the fastest developing forms of technology is communication. It has shaped the way we see the world and view our own life, from the humble pay phone through to modern day messaging services and social media, communication technology moves quickly. As many have predicted, Healthcare is beginning to move into the mediums that best suit the patient and messaging services like WeChat are there to revolutionise the process.
What is WeChat?
WeChat is an app, similar in kind, to Whatsapp but so much more. It covers the usual messaging service that we’re familiar with but also provides services from finding a hairdresser, posting on social media and paying for your coffee. Created by Tencent this is the biggest communication service in China with over 1 billion active monthly users.
How Can WeChat and Healthcare combine?
Since so many people are using WeChat for their day-to-day lives, healthcare providers have begun to shift their attention to the service as an outlet and communication path between doctors and patients. According to reports and research, WeChat is already the preferred form of communication between doctor and patient. Through the use of the WeChat app, waiting times can be reduced, services improved and ultimately a better experience provided for both patient and doctor. This is of particular importance in China where appointments are not traditionally made in advance. This means patients arrive and book an appointment for that day, the result? Long waiting lines…
With WeChat at the helm and studies from Kantar Health demonstrating that physicians now spend on average 29 hours online, 50% of which is on medical related activities, payments and prescriptions of the future will be made via an e-pharmacy. Research is also already beginning to take place on creating a safer space for Dermatologists to obtain images from their patients. A service that could well be automated in the future…
WeChat Healthcare and Dermatology AI
Chatting to a doctor online is something that is available almost everywhere already and has been for some time. Here at First Derm, it is no different, you can speak to an online dermatologist within hours and have your concerns addressed by one of our many dermatologists immediately.
However, imagine a world where the answers are instant, the results are accurate, and the cost of living a healthy life is reduced.
This is where WeChat meets AI. We have developed a WeChat AI Dermatology service that allows the user to upload a skin image concern and receive a result within seconds not unlike our Online Dermatology AI service. The service has also been shown to be more accurate than a GP and is fast approaching the accuracy of dermatologists, making a future with AI at our disposal closer than ever. Scientific studies are currently being done to verify sensitivity and specificity in regards to different healthcare professionals.
How to get Dermatology AI on WeChat
- Create an account
- Search “iDoc24” or AI dermatology in Chinese (人工智能皮肤科)
- Press “official account”
- Follow iDoc24
- Upload your skin concern and get an immediate answer
- You can change between English and Chinese by typing respective keyboard characters
Dermatology AI for Chatbots?
Since WeChat is one of the most open sources for chat related services and development, it is typically one of the fastest to take on new ideas. However, this does not mean that a rapid result AI dermatology service is far from our reach outside of China.
You may be familiar with the pop-up chats in the corner of your screen when visiting a website – these chats are designed to help you (not annoy you!) and you may begin to see healthcare AI appearing here sooner rather than later.
In fact, if you have used an online chat service before, it is highly likely that AI will have dealt with your query or at the very least, passed you onto the relevant person.
Now, imagine a world where you could simply upload an image of your skin concern to a chatbot and receive an instant, accurate result. Fortunately, you can already give AI dermatology a try, and perhaps in years to come, it will be accessible through your online messaging services too.
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The Specialist doctor from the University Hospital in Gothenburg, alumnus UC Berkeley. My doctoral dissertation is about Digital Health and I have published 5 scientific articles in teledermatology and artificial intelligence and others.