Enablers and Facilitators for Sustainable Implementation of E-Services in Two-Sided Markets and Ecosystems

Enablers and Facilitators for Sustainable Implementation of E-Services in Two-Sided Markets and Ecosystems

Vivian Vimarlund (Linköping University, Sweden)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2958-3.ch008
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E-health innovations are globally described as one of the major driving forces to innovate health and social care because its potential contribution to improve quality, access to care, and to engage patients in decisions related to their own health and wellbeing .However, despite the increasing number of reports that indicate the potential savings and benefits that e-health services can bring to the sector, generic implementation of e-health services that contribute to develop and sustain new ways to deliver health and social care are not yet reported. In this chapter, we suggest enablers and facilitators for generic implementation of e-health services in two-sided markets as e-health.
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The impact of e-health innovations has been the object of academic study since the beginning of 2000 (Eysenbach, 2001; Pagliari et al, 2005). The first wave of innovations were focused on the micro level, and were introduced so as to reduce costly time-consuming errors associated with manual data entry, to increase system usability, to facilitate internal communication, and to stimulate good information management practices for local work teams. These e-health innovations were also used to improve administrative issues: i.e., to keep records, order supplies, support the provision of basic services (for example, prescription renewal and the cancellation of appointments), and to facilitate one-way communication between stakeholders (namely, patients and practitioners) via the use of simple interfaces. E-health innovations, at this level, normally, did not allow for interaction with patients or an exchange of information with patients in real-time. Neither were there any automatic verification mechanisms available to confirm the receipt of a request. In some cases, an e-mail is sent to confirm a request, but such e-mails are not usually sent in real-time or automatically (Vimarlund & Koch; 2012; Vimarlund, Davoody & Koch 2013).

The increased use of the Internet has enabled the existence of a virtual global space which is characterized by 24/7 accessibility to information and services. Associated with this level of accessibility, we find an increased interest in the implementation of applications and innovations that change the way care professionals and patients interact with each other and within healthcare organizations. Consequently, the second wave of e-health innovation was expected to create a modern and flexible ‘information exchange’ along the entire chain of care delivery, thereby empowering end-users to actively use e-health innovations for communication and interaction purposes (Vimarlund et al, 2005).

This new organizational structure that emerged in association with e-health innovations (i) improves the internal- and external integration of actors, (ii) supports and enables the creation of integrated services (for example, allows for collaboration with pharmacies and social care actors), and (iii) develops virtual communities and intermediary platforms that further facilitates interaction between practitioners and patients (European Commission, 2012; Chiu, Hsu & Wang, 2006); for instance, in the establishment of ‘net-doctors’ or virtual doctor services, virtual care centres, children’s virtual hospitals, and online tests. This second wave of e-health innovations placed a great deal of focus on how virtual communities could be used so as to bring healthcare providers, educators, patients, health professionals, and stakeholders together, so that they could exchange knowledge and information, and expand their knowledge capital (Vimarlund, Timpka & Patel, 1999) within and between organizations. Another result of this focus described above was that it facilitated the establishment of patient-centred approaches (McKinsey, 2015).

Today, E-health innovations, in a manner similar to market-oriented innovations, are globally described as one of the major driving forces behind the ongoing innovation of healthcare and social care organizations because of its potential to improve quality, to facilitate access to 24/7care, to engage patients in decisions related to their own health and wellbeing, and to develop new market structures where producers and consumers can interact with each other through intermediary platforms. For these reasons, countries across Europe have adopted strategies to create technical intermediary infrastructures, for example, portals that facilitate the transition to a patient-centred health system (WHO European Region, 2016; Vimarlund 2016). Furthermore, these infrastructures simultaneously contribute to (i) improved productivity, (ii) an increased digital presence which can support the new consumer, (iii) the provision of personalized care, and (iv)stimulation of the e-health market.

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