Coping with COVID-19: The WeChat Way

Stephen Andriano-Moore, Yimeng Cai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingBook Chapterpeer-review


This chapter illuminates how the Second Affiliated Hospital of Guizhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine used the WeChat social media platform and mobile phone technologies as a mode of mobile health during the initial COVID-19 period from January 2020 through January 2021. The chapter utilises interviews conducted with the hospital’s doctors, nurses, and pharmacists who went to Hubei province to work in the temporary treatment centres; insights from one of the authors, who is a member of the Hospital’s publicity department; and discourse analysis of the hospital’s official microblog. WeChat and mobile phones were indispensable technologies that were both the primary information delivery systems to the public and primary communication systems at Hubei’s temporary treatment centres. These technologies contributed to stronger ties between medical staff and their colleagues and between medical staff and their patients through the chat and video chat functions. The microblog also provided a platform for the hospital to inform the local population about the viral epidemic, how the government and the hospital reacted to the situation, and how the public could protect themselves. The official WeChat account’s Wisdom Hospital programme was used to computerise several hospital services, contributing to safer contactless hospital experiences. The counter-epidemic efforts were labelled as a war on the virus and the hospital staff as warrior heroes in white. Mobile technologies and the Hospital’s WeChat account positively impacted the safety of the local and Hubei province populations and the hospital and the staff’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoping with COVID-19, the Mobile Way
Subtitle of host publicationExperience and Expertise from China
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages42
ISBN (Electronic)9789811957871
ISBN (Print)9789811957864
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • WeChat
  • mHealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)
  • Medicine (all)
  • Engineering (all)
  • Computer Science (all)


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