Healthcare at Your Fingertips: A Digital Gateway to International Markets: Factors Affecting the Internationalization Process of a Telehealth Company from the Perspective of Value Creation

Susanna Bertilsson

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Background: There has been a significant development of e-services for day-to-day activities, where digital innovations have created additional value, increasing both accessibility and affordability in various industries. The healthcare industry has for long been both expensive and inaccessible for many people, where e-health applications are meant to improve access and affordability. Telehealth has had the potential of delivering a valuable business model but has not lived up to expectations. Digital innovation has further changed the way firms internationalize, facilitated by the Internet, where Telehealth companies could have possibility for an online health delivery model, with rapid access to international markets. Purpose: The purpose of this thesis was to to investigate factors affecting the internationalization process of a telehealth company from the perspective of value creation. This purpose was answered by three research questions: (1) What are the main barriers and driving factors facilitating value creation for Telehealth services? (2) What are the main opportunities and adversities for internationalization of Telehealth services? (3) What are the main factors facilitating telehealth internationalization? Method: A theoretical framework generated from hypotheses based on previous literature within relevant field was tested on three different case studies to get in-depth insights on the subject. Primary data was collected through semi-structured interviews with three case companies from Sweden. Conclusion: This thesis presents a framework suggesting that the main drivers of telehealth are: consumer preferences, technological capabilities, competitive environment, and value creation for stakeholders. The main barriers are suggested to be the policy and regulatory environment, reimbursement policies, and the level of technological habits. Internationalization opportunities are suggested to be the widespread access, competitive advantage, and the cost-effective business model. Internationalization adversities are suggested to be the lack of government support for telehealth activities, Lack of legal and regulatory systems, and a cultural mindset regarding e-services. Finally, the main factors facilitating telehealth internationalization are suggested to be the legal and regulatory systems and technological maturity

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages90
SupervisorsHelle Zinner Henriksen