Behind the internet business models: An e-health industry case

Ieva Berzina & Paul van Bommel

Student thesis: Master thesis


Many wonder what constitutes a business’ success, whether it is a traditional business or an Internet-based venture. The business model literature has in the recent past sought to explain what constitutes a good e-business venture. As a manner of speaking, it provides the reader with the corner stones and cement of which a business is constructed. The authors of this research paper have noted that though business model literature has its merits, little has been written on how to practically apply the literature available. It also lacks the focus on the business model further evolution and innovations. For this reason, the aim of this thesis is to provide the interested reader with a practical example of how to put business model theory to use. As the research field of this topic is rather complex and previous to this thesis does not specifically provide with methodology for business model innovation, a case study strategy is chosen in order to gain in-depth understanding of the topic. Firstly, the main lessons based on the most popular success and failure factors of eight netPhase I cases were assessed. The thesis has a special focus on exploring the intricacies of taking the often complicated structure of a business apart and stipulating success factors within a business model. Secondly, having gained a good understanding of the past and looking for future insights, the e-health industry case, as a particularly interesting area, was chosen to illustrate potential future trends and business model innovations. Lastly, this paper comes up with assumptions on future trends and suggestions for the business model innovations within the three explored e-health sectors. The main findings help to understand what business model concept means and how it can be applied in practice. They also serve as a guidebook to online business for the ones that would like to start one or change existing business model, as well as they help to understand future innovations specifically in the healthcare industry. Despite the fact that the focus is on the pure-play Dot-com companies, the basic principles and lessons also apply to the traditional business settings.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages128