Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Research Result

Dedicated business modeling method for digital health

Business modeling frameworks are being applied to innovations across different industries with the goal to help business owners and academics to understand and create value-capturing processes.

The convergence of digital innovation with health care represents a highly innovative sector combined with a significant disruptive potential. At the same time, the intricacies of the health sector pose problems that current business modeling approaches cannot properly address. These include, for example, country-specific regulations and third party payer insurance systems. Hence, we developed an approach that is tailored to the smart health domain.

Overcoming limitations of existing business modeling approaches

In order to identify and address the weakness of existing business modelling approaches in the smart health domain, we collected insights from 17 Digital Health startups through workshops and interviews.

We were able to group all identified shortcomings of current Business Modelling approaches into six points. Current approaches fail to appropriately consider:

  1. Modeling decoupled value creation
  2. Critical importance of users that do not directly create value
  3. Country-specific health system regulations and practices
  4. Incentives for stakeholders that are neither partner nor customer
  5. Decision-making processes concerning medical validation
  6. Internal decision-making processes of stakeholders expected to provide a contribution towards the Business Model

We then took the identified weaknesses and constructed a stakeholder-specific Business Model approach that alleviates them (see image above).

Acknowledgments and publication on this methodological approach

The workshops and interviews took place from March 2015 until December 2016. The data collection was conducted within the course of accelerator programs and European as well as nationally funded research projects including: eHealth Accelerator (LifeTech Brussels), FIWARE FIC3 (European Commission), Living Labs (iMinds-imec), imec.iStart (imec). The Digital Health startups included: Minze Health, Yagram, Neveo, Zebra Technologies, Pillas, FiGlass, WIIM, Alzhup, Talkitt, Gociety, Blindtouch, Oblumi Tapp, diaBEATes, Helpilepsy, Eskesso, Osteotech and Arianna. You can learn more details regarding our method by reading our publication in the Proceedings of the 2017 ISPIM Innovation Forum.