Our business idea has been to develop a holistic health-service related smartphone application as we have identified the growing market potential of using mobile technology to digitalise healthcare services. The application we have designed, eMed, will provides two main functions: emergency call and notifications, and medication monitoring and reminder. The aim of eMed is to simplify and speed up access to health and emergency services in the event of an emergency, and also to facilitate patient empowerment for self-care by allowing patients to monitor and mange their own health conditions more effectively remotely so that unnecessary pressure on healthcare providers can be reduced. eMed and it’s functions were derived from analysis of online secondary research on the UK Department of Health and the NHS websites, which identified the general trends in our target market. Primary market research was also conducted in order to better understand our potential customers needs, and also what our competitors were currently offering in existing healthcare related smartphone applications.
We have identified healthcare, socialcare, and emergency services providing institutions, such as the NHS, Department of Health, and the UK ambulance services as eMed stakeholders, and as indirect clients who may be affected by and can be beneficiaries of our application. For example, the UK Department of Health has indicated it is considering encouraging GPs to prescribe useful health-related apps (those that complement NHS services or their health-related objectives) to suitable patients. Activities like these can increase eMed’s download rate by acting as an indicator of the application’s credibility and high service quality, and therefore requirements of indirect client must be considered carefully. This is particularly important in directing the future development of eMed in order for our application to be of support for healthcare clinicians, socialcare professionals, and the ambulance to improve the organisation and delivery of their services through better engagement with their patients’ needs.
In this report, I have chosen to study the theme of ICT supported collaboration in analysing the potential of eMed. Currently, our project is self-funded and standalone, therefore eMed is limited to functions that are the easiest to implement technically, require the cheapest maintenance costs, and do not infringe on patient confidentially issues. However, in order to differentiate eMed from competitors, and to provide more meaningful and valuable functions for our customers (such as online appointment bookings and drug prescription renewals), we must offer a more personalised service. This required level of service personalisation requires collaboration with healthcare and socialcare service providers, such as the NHS, and a certain degree of integration and convergence with their ICT systems. Additionally, healthcare and socialcare are themselves high contact and relationship-based services also requiring tailored service interactions. Therefore, the aim of the report is to examine whether through a cooperative venture with a currently indirect client, eMed can improve its service for both direct and indirect clients (which can be potentially rendered a direct client through the collaboration) by providing a health and socialcare supporting organisational information service, using the example of the NHS.
Research on eHealth and ICT supported collaboration was conducted through search of academic books, conference publications, online sources, and most academic journals containing theories and concepts relating to computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), organisational information services, digital convergence, and...