29 November 2019 | Opinion
With over 20 years experience in healthcare sector, Zhang Meng has developed in-depth understanding in China healthcare
Zhang Meng, Vice President, Tencent Medical, leads digital healthcare innovation incubation in Tencent. He has successfully led the team in Tencent Medical for developing a brand new public medical encyclopedia product- Tencent Medical Encyclopedia. He talked to the reporters from BioSpectrum Asia on the eve of Tencent’s first Medical Enlightenment (ME) summit.
What exactly Tencent Medipedia does?
Tencent Medipedia aims to provide a platform for the Chinese users to get reliable medical information to help get answers to their questions. This will enable to bridge the knowledge gap and help understand more medical information and carry out more effective and meaningful conversation with the medical practitioners. This is being done since there is lack of enough resources to respond to patients’ questions. People go online to search the information. However, the source of the information available is unknown and its accuracy is doubtful. That is where Tencent Medipedia helps the patients as it provides trust worthy information.
What kind of technology is used for Tencent Medipedia?
We had to start from a scratch. In cases of medical information there is nothing available to make that happen. So, we had to go to basic foundation. AI technology, big data analytics, cloud to give the tools and platform to work with doctors or patients. We are focused on individual capability improvement and improvising the digital technology prospective.
How do you ensure authenticity of the information?
We have built from scratch since the main foundation is very important. We ensure that every word we put out is accurate and is aligned with the latest information available. We have very strong internal team consisting of almost 30 medical editors who are mostly doctors or PhD in Life Sciences to make sure that the content comply with the government regulations and medical norms. We make sure that we perform internal audits four times and chief editor signs it before it goes out, to ensure accuracy. We have some Artificial Intelligent (AI) tools to help audit some of the contents as well, however it is still in progress. AI helps to breakdown the complex micro language terms to simple terms for the regular users to understand. We licensed the content from Web MD whose product has been around for more than 10 years, so they are validated and have a good reputation for providing accurate information, so we have exclusively licensed their content into China.
Another important issue is that the information needs to be provided in simple language that is understandable by common people. The work is very labour intensive and it has to be done in a very structured way. It requires systematic approach of understanding the patients’ journey from pre-treatment to post-treatment.
The third point we had in mind is to keep it smart to provide tailormade information as per the needs. It only gives efficient information and not piles up the sea of information. So, there is a lot of AI enabled technology involved to understand graphs, most frequent questions, pain point for the patients. We also need to understand what the doctors have to say to the patients. So, it will tailor to your profile so that you will visit it again.
How to use the app? If suppose there is a cancer patient, how will the patient use it?
You can go to Tencent Medipedia and search. There is a search box on the top in which we can put the name of any type of cancer so that it will pop up relevant articles. This is one of a very unique kind of product across the globe. From pre-treatment to post-treatment it gives the most relevant information. You can browse videos and multimedia and can also read the most frequently asked questions from our patients. Just as an example, for lung cancer alone we created more than 600 articles on information on symptoms, the kind of treatment that is available as well as what are the Chinese guidelines for treatment.