Dr Jian Chen uses her smartphone to communicate with patients at Peking University First Hospital in Beijing via the popular social media platform WeChat. The incidence of respiratory diseases is increasing in the People’s Republic of China. A Boehringer Ingelheim information service, which is specially adapted for WeChat, helps Dr Chen to find out more about current therapy guidelines and medical information – and thus provide her patients with better and more efficient treatment.
Dr Jian Chen mainly treats patients with pulmonary diseases at Peking University First Hospital in Beijing. Boehringer Ingelheim assists this specialist by mobile phone – or, more precisely, using the social media channel WeChat.
For the pulmonary specialist Chen – like 97 percent of the physicians in the People’s Republic of China – her smartphone has become one of her most important tools over the last few years.
The social media service WeChat plays a key role here. Over one billion people use this digital platform every month. Users can send text messages, make telephone calls and shopping payments, use integrated video and messaging services, book train tickets, complete government paperwork digitally and order a taxi. Almost anything is possible on WeChat.
Boehringer Ingelheim uses this digital communication channel to provide optimal support for physicians, such as Dr Chen, in their daily work and professional development. “We set up public accounts on WeChat, which we use to provide physicians and clinics with information and to communicate with them,” says Elena Yang, Head of Digital Marketing and an expert in efficient medical care at Boehringer Ingelheim in Shanghai. “For instance, physicians can use WeChat to access current information in their area of expertise,” says Yang. “As subscribers to our accounts, they also receive important news on medical guidelines, events and research via a push service.”
The pulmonary specialist Dr Chen finds Boehringer Ingelheim’s “Follow-up WeChat”-service very useful in her everyday work. “I can access the information that I require exactly when I need it,” the physician comments. She recalls a new therapeutic device that recently came onto the market for patients with respiratory diseases. “I was able to use Boehringer Ingelheim’s Respiratory Family WeChat service to watch a video showing how to use this particular device correctly.” Physicians can also use WeChat to share this information and stay up-to-date. “I am notified immediately in case of any changes to important medical guidelines and also receive a summary straight away that indicates the specific changes that this entails for me.”
WeChat automatically evaluates which information physicians use frequently or what they indicate to be particularly useful, says Boehringer Ingelheim’s Elena Yang. “As a result, we can provide information and services that increasingly fit the actual needs of physicians and their patients – and thus help to ensure continuous improvements in the efficiency and quality of medical care in China.”