With the development of Web 2.0 technology, the healthcare industry is undergoing a digital transformation that has led to the emergence of online healthcare consulting, revolutionizing the patient consulting experience in several ways. Despite substantial literature on patient behavior, there is limited understanding of how the appearance of physicians, as conveyed by their portraits, affects patients' online decision-making. To bridge this gap, this study aims to develop a four-dimensional facial impression model to systematically analyze physicians' faces. Three stages of patient decision-making, including search, selection, and evaluation decisions, were examined using data collected from Haodf.com. Preliminary results indicate that seeing the true appearance of the physician positively influences patient experience, leading to increased consulting willingness and satisfaction. Diverse moderating role of service price suggesting the substitution and enhancement between price and real person portraits. Our study contributes to the literature on user behavior and facial impression in digitalized healthcare.
Wang, Xuan; Huang, Tao; Zhang, Wenping; and Sun, Xin, "What kind of doctor looks more popular? A multi-dimensional study on online healthcare consultation" (2023). PACIS 2023 Proceedings. 71.
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