Qualitative Evaluation of IoT-Driven eHealth: KM, Business Models, Deployment and Evolution

Qualitative Evaluation of IoT-Driven eHealth: KM, Business Models, Deployment and Evolution

Izabella V. Lokshina (SUNY at Oneonta, Oneonta, USA) and Cees J.M. Lanting (DATSA Belgium, Consulting, Leuven, Belgium)
DOI: 10.4018/IJITN.2018100102

Abstract

This article explains that eHealth has major potential, and its adoption may be considered necessary to achieve increased ambulant and remote medical care, increased quality, reduced personnel needs, and reduced costs potential in healthcare. In this paper, the authors try to give a reasonable, qualitative evaluation of IoT-driven eHealth from theoretical and practical viewpoints. They look at associated knowledge management issues and contributions of IoT to eHealth, along with requirements, benefits, limitations and entry barriers. Important attention is given to security and privacy issues. Finally, the conditions for business plans and accompanying value chains are realistically analyzed. The resulting implementation issues and required commitments are also discussed. The authors confirm that IoT-driven eHealth can happen and will happen; however, much more needs to be addressed to bring it back in sync with medical and general technological developments in an industrial state-of-the-art perspective and to recognize and get timely the benefits.
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1. Introduction

There are high expectations for eHealth as a major tool to achieve the following improvements in healthcare:

  • A further shift from clinical to ambulant treatment.

  • Reductions in the per user/patient workload of medical and care staff.

  • Improvements in the quality of medical and care services for users/patients.

  • And finally, significant reductions in the medical treatment and care cost per user/patient.

The attention, and hype, around the Internet of Things (IoT) (Durkin & Lokshina, 2015; Lokshina, Durkin & Lanting, 2017a; Lokshina, Durkin & Lanting, 2017b; Lokshina, Lanting and Durkin, 2018), and IoT-driven eHealth (Lokshina & Lanting, 2018a) has further increased the visibility and expectation of eHealth.

In this article the authors try to give a reasonable, qualitative evaluation of what can be expected of IoT in eHealth and IoT-driven eHealth itself. They look at the possible contributions of IoT to eHealth, the requirements that need to be met, the benefits and limitations of eHealth, and the entry barriers (Kiel et al., 2016; Liu & Jia, 2010). Important attention is given to security and privacy, representing an important set of issues (NCR, 1997; Gaunt, 2001; Waegemann, 2002). However, the authors conclude that these are not the first issues to be addressed: first there needs to be a joint understanding between the users/patients and health and care providers that there are benefits for both the users/patients and health and care providers in applying eHealth (Ricci, 2002). The conditions for business plans and accompanying value chains are realistically analyzed, and the resulting implementation issues and commitments are discussed (Osterwalder & Pigneur, 2010; Sun et al., 2012). As a result, the paper contributes to the literature by reviewing, innovatively, business models, strategic implications and opportunities for IoT-driven eHealth, as well as its deployment and evolution.

The remaining of this article is organized as follows:

  • Section two provides a theoretical view on the IoT-driven eHealth in the context of knowledge management.

  • Section three focuses on contributions of IoT to eHealth, considering IoT as enabler and discussing IoT-based medical-relevant eHealth systems.

  • Section four provides an analysis of requirements for IoT-driven eHealth.

  • Section five considers the limitations of eHealth.

  • Section six defines the entry barriers.

  • Section seven outlines security and privacy issues; however, it confirms these issues are not the first topics to be addressed, but instead, the benefits of applying eHealth.

  • Section eight analyzes the conditions for business plans and accompanying value chains and calls attention to the associated implementation issues and commitments.

  • Section nine offers summary and conclusions, followed by acknowledgement and references.

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