Organizational Factors and Technological Barriers are Determinants for the Intention to Use Wireless Handheld Technology in Healthcare Environment: An Indian Case Study

Organizational Factors and Technological Barriers are Determinants for the Intention to Use Wireless Handheld Technology in Healthcare Environment: An Indian Case Study

Raj Gururajan (University of Southern Queensland, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-030-1.ch007
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Abstract

Traditional technology adoption models identified ‘ease of use’ and ‘usefulness’ as the dominating factors for technology adoption. However, recent studies in healthcare have established that these two factors are not always reliable on their own and other factors may influence technology adoption. To establish the identity of these factors, a mixed method approach was used and data were collected through interviews and a survey. The survey instrument was specifically developed for this study so that it is relevant to the Indian healthcare setting. Authors identified clinical management and technological barriers as the dominant factors influencing the wireless handheld technology adoption in the Indian healthcare environment. The results of this study showed that new technology models will benefit by considering the clinical influences of wireless handheld technology, in addition to known factors. The scope of this study is restricted to wireless handheld devices such as PDAs, smart telephones, and handheld PCs.
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Background

The concept of wireless technology in healthcare is discussed in many studies (Dyer, 2003; Hu et al., 2002; Sausser, 2003; Simpson, 2003; Wisnicki, 2002). For example, Wisnicki (2002) provides details of how broadband technology, an essential component of wireless technology, can be used in healthcare. While prior studies agree that wireless applications have the potential to address the endemic problems of healthcare, very limited information can be found about the determinants of such applications (Gururajan et al., 2005; Gururajan et al., 2004). In general, the majority of the works reviewed are descriptive about the benefits of wireless handheld devices in healthcare in general, and medicine in particular. There is only a small number of studies that provide evidence-based information concerning these devices in healthcare (Fischer et al. 2003; Sax et al. 2005). Furthermore, five major studies in the area of healthcare (evaluated by (Spil & Schuring, 2006) testing the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) produced findings which were inconsistent with the body of knowledge in non-healthcare settings. With 'Perceived Ease of Use' and 'Perceived Usefulness' as the major TAM attributes, these studies found that in the health environment, 'Perceived Usefulness' is an important attribute in technology adoption, while 'Perceived Ease of Use' was found to have no effect (Spil & Schuring, 2006). This is different to findings reported in non-health IS studies, where both attributes were found to be reliable technology adoption predictors. Therefore, further empirical investigation is required to explain the reasons why this variation exists in healthcare.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Technology adoption: In order for a technology to be used, it should be adopted first. There are a number of adoption models available in the field of Information Systems. These models predominantly look at the behavior aspects leading to adoption. In this paper, technology adoption is discussed with healthcare professionals using a technology in clinical settings.

Wireless Technology: Wireless technology is a technology that uses Infrared, Bluetooth and other radio frequency techniques to transmit data emerging from computers and other devices. In the scope of this chapter, the wireless technology is discussed as a system that consists of connectivity without wires for data transmission.

Health Informatics: In healthcare, information flow is critical. Thus, various aspects of information systems, such as the storage aspects in databases, quality of information captured and transmitted, usage of information sources also become critical. Thus, the management of information within health is considered as Health Informatics within the context of this article.

Health Informatics: In healthcare, information flow is critical. Thus, various aspects of information systems, such as the storage aspects in databases, quality of information captured and transmitted, usage of information sources also become critical. Thus, the management of information within health is considered as Health Informatics within the context of this article.

Technology adoption: In order for a technology to be used, it should be adopted first. There are a number of adoption models available in the field of Information Systems. These models predominantly look at the behavior aspects leading to adoption. In this paper, technology adoption is discussed with healthcare professionals using a technology in clinical settings.

Wireless Technology: Wireless technology is a technology that uses Infrared, Bluetooth and other radio frequency techniques to transmit data emerging from computers and other devices. In the scope of this chapter, the wireless technology is discussed as a system that consists of connectivity without wires for data transmission.

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