WeChat is transforming healthcare in China

Learn how WeChat helps to accelerate hospital operations by reducing the average waiting time from 4 hours to 1–1.5 hours in China using its WeChat Smart Hospital Service

The past two weeks were the Sloan Innovation Period, when Sloan students will have a regular week off and have the chance to take interesting classes outside of regular curriculum and the spring break. I was in Shanghai, China working on my China Lab project (a very interesting Sloan action learning course pairing students with Chinese MBA students and a Chinese client on a consulting project!), and I was fascinating (totally mind-blowing) about how WeChat (the Chinese equivalent Facebook + WhatsApp + even Google) has transformed every aspect of Chinese people’s digital life. You can use WeChat to order a house-cleaning service, a food delivery, a nail beauty stylist to come to your house and beautify your nails — basically WeChat is covering all the O2O services you can think of.

Yet, what really amazed me this time is that WeChat is also working with Chinese hospitals to simplify the hospital operations by moving the process of reservations, payments, hospital navigation and receiving/reading medical reports all onto WeChat.

This is a simple chart representing in the 13 steps within a patient’s journey in the hospital (from making a reservation to pay for medicines and take the medicines) how WeChat successfully moved 9 steps online.
After patients complete the medical checking with doctors, he/she can follow the WeChat official account that the hospital owns, scan the QR code, and see the first-hand medical report at home. WeChat helps Chinese patients free from all the hassles coming back to the hospital a couple days after only to pick up the medical report.
Patients can scan the personalized QR code after logging into the hospital WeChat official account, and complete the payment directly on WeChat through WeChat Pay (the second largest mobile payment tool in China).
During my on-site visit to one of the Chinese hospital, there were a wide spread of outdoor displays and indoor instructions to guide patients to adopt the new process. However, currently the adoption rate is only 20–25% percent. The WeChat Smart Hospital Service is launched in 2015.

The WeChat Smart Hospital Service is launched in 2015, and it’s currently been adopted by over 1200 hospitals in China — potentially benefits more than 100,000 Chinese patients every day. It was very amazing and inspiring to see how WeChat continues to innovate itself (a simple app product) to become an one-stop-solution service not only for every-day necessities but also expanding into the field of healthcare. Who knows — what’s next?

For more WeChat Smart Hospital information (in Chinese) please visit the link: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MjM5NTE4Njc4NQ==&mid=409002447&idx=1&sn=cc076816eed207699995f68b03bdf689&scene=1&srcid=0315AUe3gaGGkwn1z5uY655C&key=710a5d99946419d9433397069090ae6d3055d51aa8de0308cf3918090b5c34f6aca16da4f2c72c49f0cd75b51f0baa69&ascene=0&uin=MjgxNjI4ODg1Mg==&devicetype=iMac+MacBookAir6,2+OSX+OSX+10.10.5+build(14F1021)&version=11020201&pass_ticket=TCi8UnKdsRtRdpgrde+o23DYsdfwbtQhxI6O/DJMS+Pa+/5Jt3chkAYgUhwQignP

This is Michelle Shih, first year MBA student at MIT Sloan. I am originally from Taipei, Taiwan, working in the marketing field most of my career but making a career switch to management consulting now. I am a social media addict myself, and I am very excited to share my point of views of social media by this write-a-blog-everyweek homework in my Social Media Management class this semester.