People - 24.04.2017 - 00:00 

Business models for electronic health services

New technologies enable innovative electronic health services. To ensure the viability of these services, Michaela Sprenger dealt with design patterns for e-health business models in her doctoral thesis.

25 April 2017. Due to the digital transformation, the way in which health services are offered and used is changing. In addition to technological innovations like the Cloud, Internet of Things or Big Data, the right business models are needed. "However, many of these e-health services fail, because they don’t have a viable business model," says Michaela Sprenger. In her doctoral thesis "Pattern-Based Business Model Design for E-Health Services", she developed design patterns for electronic health business models.

Direct, practical application of the findings

It was very important for Michaela Sprenger to perform research and apply the findings in a practical manner. This is why the joint research programme of the University of St.Gallen and SAP was the right choice for her, as this enabled her to research existing e-health services. She identified that many business professionals often have difficulties designing an economically successful business model, as they don’t have the necessary experience. This is where Sprenger's doctoral thesis comes in: she reviewed and assessed possible design patterns for e-health business models together with industry partners. "The results were design patterns, which practitioners without business model expertise can use to develop appropriate business models for their electronic health services in an effective and efficient manner," says Sprenger.

Improve the viability of e-health services

The main benefit of her design patterns is that they provide an overview of existing business model logics. This makes it possible to improve the understanding of relevant value flows between the parties involved in the service, promote discussions and creativity, and also support decision-making within the business model design. "I hope that my design patterns help to develop viable business models for innovative e-health services," says Michaela Sprenger. "Thereby, they support the value creation for customers, the society and the service provider, so that innovative electronic health services can survive in the market."

Researching health apps

During the time she worked on her doctoral thesis, she also worked in the industry. And she also sees her future in this area, but does hope that she can stay in touch with academia. She is currently working on two scientific articles with her former project manager and a Spanish colleague. "We are looking into the application of e-health apps in the context of depression."

Discover our special topics