Innovating Healthcare through Remote Monitoring: Effects and Business Model

Innovating Healthcare through Remote Monitoring: Effects and Business Model

Faustina Acheampong (Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden) and Vivian Vimarlund (Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJISMD.2016010104
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Information technology has been suggested to improve patient health outcomes and reduce healthcare cost. This study explored the business model and effects of collaborative innovation between caregivers and patients on healthcare delivery through remote patient monitoring by interviewing caregivers and surveying atrial fibrillation patients. Findings indicate that remote monitoring enhanced early detection of potential risks and quality of clinical decision-making with patients feeling more empowered and involved in their own care. The remote monitoring system which consisted of a home-based ECG and a web-based service and was offered free to patients, brought together caregivers, patients, service provider and the government as actors. The introduction of remote monitoring increased the workload of caregivers and facilitation of timely diagnostics and decision-making were not realized. IT is an enabler of innovation in healthcare, but it must be integrated into work processes with a viable business model to realize potential benefits and sustain it.
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1. Introduction

Information technologies (IT) have been acknowledged as an enabler to facilitate consumerism in a digital world where information is available with just a click. Organizations strive to integrate information systems that support many business processes, including communication, operations, marketing, customer service, quality assurance, management, and healthcare organizations are no exception. Healthcare is continually evolving with new technologies, organizational arrangements, changes in regulations and policies inherent to this industry. Information technologies have the potential to transform the delivery of care by providing timely and accessible information at the point of care (Hincapie et al., 2011) to improve operational performance, reduce cost and medical errors, and improve patient outcomes (Menachemi & Collum, 2011; Resnick & Alwan, 2010). Nonetheless, the adoption of IT innovations in healthcare lags behind other industries and may be attributed to the complexities intrinsic in healthcare (Daim et al., 2008; Shortliffe 2005).

Innovation drives the pursuit of reduced cost and improved quality of healthcare. Technological innovation offers immense opportunities for process innovation. According to Omachonu & Einspruch (2010), process innovation involves the implementation of a new or significantly improved production or delivery method and includes significant changes in techniques, equipment and/or software” (p.2). Innovating established processes entail a reduction in process cost and/or time and improvement in internal capabilities including quality, service levels and business objectives (Davenport, 2013). As healthcare migrates from organizational to patient centricity, the need for collaboration between patients, caregivers and other stakeholders in healthcare has become essential now more than ever. In essence, the introduction of new technologies in healthcare organizations creates the opportunity for novel means of delivering care and various forms of collaboration to be established between care givers and patients with a shared vision of improved quality and outcomes. Thus, information technologies (IT) may serve as an enabler for collaborative innovation between care givers and patients to innovate the process of healthcare delivery.

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