Business Modeling to Implement an eHealth Portal for Infection Control: A Reflection on Co-Creation With Stakeholders

Maarten van Limburg, Jobke Wentzel, Robbert Sanderman, Lisette van Gemert-Pijnen
JMIR Research Protocols 2015, 4 (3): e104

BACKGROUND: It is acknowledged that the success and uptake of eHealth improve with the involvement of users and stakeholders to make technology reflect their needs. Involving stakeholders in implementation research is thus a crucial element in developing eHealth technology. Business modeling is an approach to guide implementation research for eHealth. Stakeholders are involved in business modeling by identifying relevant stakeholders, conducting value co-creation dialogs, and co-creating a business model. Because implementation activities are often underestimated as a crucial step while developing eHealth, comprehensive and applicable approaches geared toward business modeling in eHealth are scarce.

OBJECTIVE: This paper demonstrates the potential of several stakeholder-oriented analysis methods and their practical application was demonstrated using Infectionmanager as an example case. In this paper, we aim to demonstrate how business modeling, with the focus on stakeholder involvement, is used to co-create an eHealth implementation.

METHODS: We divided business modeling in 4 main research steps. As part of stakeholder identification, we performed literature scans, expert recommendations, and snowball sampling (Step 1). For stakeholder analyzes, we performed "basic stakeholder analysis," stakeholder salience, and ranking/analytic hierarchy process (Step 2). For value co-creation dialogs, we performed a process analysis and stakeholder interviews based on the business model canvas (Step 3). Finally, for business model generation, we combined all findings into the business model canvas (Step 4).

RESULTS: Based on the applied methods, we synthesized a step-by-step guide for business modeling with stakeholder-oriented analysis methods that we consider suitable for implementing eHealth.

CONCLUSIONS: The step-by-step guide for business modeling with stakeholder involvement enables eHealth researchers to apply a systematic and multidisciplinary, co-creative approach for implementing eHealth. Business modeling becomes an active part in the entire development process of eHealth and starts an early focus on implementation, in which stakeholders help to co-create the basis necessary for a satisfying success and uptake of the eHealth technology.

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