Business models and eHealth social innovations for social care services: Serving the two sides of the market

Vivian Vimarlund*, Nicolas Nikula, Christian Nøhr

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Purpose:: The aim of the study is to explore a business model that can serve the two sides of the eHealth market with special focus on social innovations for social care in which elderly care is one of the main areas Method:: Explorative case study, semi-structured interviews, focus groups and workshop. A case study methodology allowed us to study a contemporary issue of worldwide interest, to perform the study in a real-life setting, capture experiences and expectations from the two sides of the market, and to deliver outcomes that can lead to an in-depth understanding of the requisites business models for eHealth social innovations must approach. Results:: A business model that serves the two sides of the market must offer a structure that supports interaction and transaction between different actors. A major challenge to develop effective business models is related to the absence of intermediaries or brokers that reduce transaction costs and stimulate comparative advantage. Brokers are thus required to establish links and to support the flow of up-to-date information amongst actors. Conclusion:: The broker business models is expected to close the gap that today exists in the eHealth market for social innovations because absence of marker-makers that bring together buyers and sellers, facilitate transactions, create dialogue and stimulate the two sides of the market. The outputs of this study can contribute to change the business-line thinking in health and social care and to identify a work-model that stimulate the two sides of the market.

TidsskriftHealth Policy and Technology
Udgave nummer4
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
Swedish elderly care is governed by the “Social Services ACT”, and it largely funded by municipal taxes and government grants. The municipalities duties include. care for people with physical disabilities or psychological disorders, and support and service for people in the home or in special accommodations(i.e., elderly homes). Most elderly care is funded by municipal taxes and government grants. In 2014, the total costs of elderly care in Sweden were SEK 109.2 billion (USD 12.7 billion, EUR 11.7 billion). Only 4 per cent of the costs was financed by patient charges. Costs paid by the elderly themselves are subsidised and based on specified rate schedules. In 2018, 13.5 per cent of health and social care was financed by regional councils but carried out by private care providers. An agreement guarantees that individuals that receive services from private organizations are covered by the same regulations and fees that apply to municipal care facilities. However, while the municipalities are the responsible for to help elderly people live independent live and stay in their own homes as long as possible. 1 1 , the regions are the responsible for medical care provided by physicians. eHealth services for elderly described as social innovations are usually developed in collaboration within municipalities, health and social care organizations, entrepreneurs, researchers as well as representatives from patients’ organizations. Many of the social innovations that have been introduced during the last years have been developed with the aim of creating value from the exchanges that take place during the delivery of a service i.e., a reduction in the transaction costs of searching services, and/or removal of obstacles that may negatively impact on the sustainability of the market.

Funding Information:
This study is a part of a series of studies performed and belonging to the project “MoTFALL“. The project was supported by Vinnova (The Swedish board of Innovation). Project nr 2016–00609-Vinnova .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


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