Interview: Tiantian Li, Founder of DXY, Chinese Physicians’ Online Community

January 19, 2012

How did Tiantian Li create a site that is part of the Chinese physician’s daily life? Read on ! 

How did Tiantian Li create a site that is part of the Chinese physician’s daily life? Read on ! 

Denise Silber: What can you tell us about Chinese doctors that will help us understand their needs as regards to your online community and portal?

Tiantian Li: Basically, Chinese doctors have three principle needs: medical practice, CME and scientific research.

Among these three needs, scientific research could be the biggest pressure on Chinese doctors, especially to those who work in the best hospitals in China. Since all of Tier Three hospitals (the best hospitals in China) only promote their physicians through the measurement of scientific papers, every Chinese physician is required to publish their research work not only in an academic journal, but also in journals with higher impact factors. DXY has been running for 12 years and has gathered almost 3 million professional members.  It has been an open platform for exchanging ideas, finding collaborators, co-authoring and disseminating findings. In DXY, the top three most popular topics are case discussions, medical news and KOL webinars. Through these online activities, physicians can communicate, debate and discuss with each other and they can find some peers with similar interests or research topics. Then they can establish social connections in DXY and generate potential collaborative partnerships. DXY has published 60+ books with the help of 2000+ physicians in six years and many research papers are published thanks to the collaboration of DXY members. Also, there is a great need for a faster and easier dissemination of findings recently, since there are so many papers published everyday. In response to this, DXY has developed a twitter-like function for that purpose –  faster academic dissemination.

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As for medical practice, DXY developed a mobile application for iPhone, iPad and Android in 2011. This app is focused on RX drug manual and clinical guidelines. It has been downloaded over 1 million times in six months and with the fast growth of smart phones, we are developing more new apps in this field to try to meet the professionals’ needs.

DS: What is your greatest satisfaction so far in working with Chinese physicians?

TL: The greatest satisfaction is that DXY has become an indispensable website in daily life of Chinese physicians. This online community not only provides information and knowledge, but it is also a spiritual shelter for those exhausted doctors. Doctors are lonely in China, they have to continue learning their whole lives, they have to finish scientific research whether they like it or not, they have to face death, their salary is pretty low and some patients do not trust doctors and even attack them. They have a lot of stress and they need an understanding place where their colleagues and peers can give encouragement. In DXY, they talk about their spouses, their children, their happiness and their anger. A topic can be replied to by over thousands of doctors, just because many other doctors share the same sentiment. In this aspect, DXY has become a part of the doctor’s life in China.

DS: What feedback do you get from physicians about the community and portal you have created?

TL: Since DXY has become a part of the Chinese physician’s daily life, we receive many requests like: “I hope DXY can have such function/content asap”. However, we also get some negative responses like: “Go to hell, DXY censorship!” We also get a lot of questions about the functionality of the site, like: “Why does DXY have score/coin system?”. We treat all feedback very seriously, because this is what the physician is feeling. But we cannot always satisfy all user demands due to our limited resources, so we focus on improving the parts we feel most merit work. Some suggestions are very constructive, but some are very misleading. Fortunately, we are capable of selecting the most important topics from the tremendous amount of great feedback. I think this is a kind of data mining, but using just your eyes.

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DS: Why do you recommend people attend Doctors 2.0 & You? 

TL: Everyone knows how important it is to connect global doctors and to generate fruitful results to help our healthcare systems; although there is still a long way to go. Doctors 2.0 & You could really be the best conference in 2012 (as Berci says), if we all actively participate and push this event forward!

DS: What are you hoping to come away with from the conference?

TL: I do hope I can meet Berci in person and ask him how he has so much energy to tweet and write on his blog every single day :)

DS: Thank you so much Tiantian – see you soon ! :)