My Doctor is an Avatar! The Effect of Anthropomorphism and Emotional Receptivity on Individuals' Intention to Use Digital-based Healthcare Services

Andrea Sestino*, Alfredo D'Angelo

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

Abstract

Alongside teleconsulting platforms, existing digital-based healthcare services propose automated solutions such as medical chatbots to interact with patients. Nevertheless, previous research stress their lack of human-like interactions delaying implementation. The advent of Metaverse may fill this gap by “catapulting” patients and doctors into a parallel virtual reality made up of avatars where interactions are as similar as those in the real world. By leveraging on a sample of 689 participants to an international experimental study, this paper investigates the effect of the human-like interactions (manipulated as low in case of medical chatbots vs high in case of doctors' avatars in the Metaverse) on the individuals' intention to use such digital-based healthcare services. We analyze the relationship through the perceived anthropomorphism mediating the two options. Moreover, by considering the peculiarities of the doctor-patient relationship resulting not only from professionalism but also from social interactions, we analyze the moderating effect of emotional receptivity. Results show that higher level human-like interactions (i.e., doctors' avatars in the Metaverse) positively influences individuals' intention to use such healthcare service via the effect of perceived anthropomorphism. Moreover, such effect is significant only among individuals who exhibit higher level of emotional receptivity.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-11
Numero di pagine11
RivistaTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Volume191
DOI
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2023

Keywords

  • Healthcare
  • Human-like interaction

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