Physician Online Altruistic Behavior on the Online Healthcare Consultation Platform
11 Jan 2018 Thursday, 02:30 PM to 04:00 PM
COM1 Level 3
Examiners: A/P Goh Khim Yong and Dr Joseph William
Title: Physician Online Altruistic Behavior on the Online Healthcare Consultation Platform
Abstract: As with past studies on physician altruism, we believe that the medical profession is keen to understand the effects of healthcare technology on physician altruism in today's contemporary healthcare market. However, the progress in research has been greatly hindered by the difficulties surrounding the measurement of physician altruism or human altruism in general. In this paper, utilizing the direct but unobtrusive observations of physician's real online consultation behaviors on a large-scale online healthcare consultation platform in China, we first develop a theory-informed objective measurement of physician online altruistic behavior using the deep-learning natural language processing (NLP) technology. Then we empirically test the influence of two value creation activities (i.e., service quality improvement effort directed at the online physician's need and service quality improvement effort directed at the online patient's need) of the online platform on physician online altruistic behavior. Our results suggest that the value creation activity designed to directly improve the online consultation service quality for the physicians will promote physician online altruistic behavior, while the value creation activity designed to directly improve the online consultation service quality for the patients but at the cost of the physicians will undermine physician online altruistic behavior. Our results also underscore that physician online altruistic behavior is a supply-driven utility-maximization behavior. These findings are essential to understanding the nature of physician altruistic behavior and mechanism through which it can be influenced by business activities. Implications for the platform owners and policy makers are discussed.