Identifying Factors Behind Successful Market Establishment of ICT-based Medical Self-Care Solutions
Abstract: Background Today’s healthcare faces a transformation, driven by an ageing population and an over encumbered care and welfare sector. Self-care solutions based on emerging information and communication technologies make it possible for patients to monitor their medical conditions from home, without the direct assistance of healthcare professionals. Thereby time and resources within the healthcare sector are liberated. Monitoring and preventive self-care solutions can proactively impede deteriorating health and injuries. However, the healthcare sector is a complex system, with several stakeholders such as county councils, municipalities, private operators, physicians and patients. Who bears the responsibility of financing medical devices may vary. The healthcare system is given an opportunity to handle the changing and aggravating landscape dynamics through a new set of care solutions, but the road to markets which fully adopt such self-care solutions has not yet presented itself clearly. This is why the market penetration and establishment of Information and Communication Technology based Monitoring and Preventive Medical Self-Care Solutions are the targets of this study. Purpose The purpose of this study was to identify what enables market penetration and establishment of Information and Communication Technology based Monitoring and Preventive Medical Self-Care Solutions (ICTMPMSCS) to succeed. The final objective of this study was to present factors, preconditions and dynamics that characterise successful market penetration and establishment of ICTMPMSCS. Methodology To best fulfil the purpose, a qualitative exploratory approach was used. A literature review was conducted as well as a multiple case study, where each case was selected through selective sampling. In each case, interviews were conducted along with archival research. Additionally, an extensive literature review was performed during the entire study. Data triangulation was used to analyse the studied cases and existing literature. Conclusions This study identifies 12 factors which can impact the success of an ICTMPMSCS’s market penetration and establishment. These factors differ depending on what phase of market entry the company happens to find itself in. The 12 factors consist of factors based on industry & environmental indications, company internal factors, and factors based on the market network, i.e. the interplay between patients, physicians, administrators and the MedTech company itself. The study identifies the roles physicians and patients have in the adoption of self-care solutions, where it is likely that patients will drive the adoption of ICTMPMSCS but physicians will bring legitimacy to the product. Companies should initially focus solely on a few value- creating activities and insource necessary aid, but gradually integrate more activities in-house as the company expands. Similarly, companies should also at first focus on one customer segment, and one sales channel. Companies will also need to pursue multiple business models simultaneously. The study also finds that adoption of ICTMPMSCS meets resistance from the healthcare sector, and these issues need to be dealt with by demonstrating possible cost savings, in a clear manner.
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