A Bitter Pill to Swallow? The Consequences of Patient Evaluation in Online Health Q&A Platforms

11:30 am February 6, 2019

Cotting House Conference Room, HBS

Abstract: We studied a new impactful type of platform that has become a dominant online channel for patient-doctor interaction in China. We found that the irrational rating behavior leads to patients adopting bad medical advice, questioning the effectiveness of such a platform as a complement to the actual hospital visit. With the help of the neural network model, we analyzed patients’ rating strategy and developed guidelines for physicians that can increase the probability of a patient selecting good advice.

Speaker Bio: Chen Chen is a 4th year PhD student in the Information Systems department at Questrom School of Business, Boston University. His research interest is in behaviors of online community, particularly 1) the rationality/irrationality of crowd and how it impacts the performance of the platforms; 2) the polarization and biasness of the online community and the evolution of biasness.

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