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How does telehealth shape new ways of co-creating value?

Agnė Gadeikienė (School of Economics and Business, Kaunas University of Technology, Kaunas, Lithuania)
Asta Pundzienė (School of Economics and Business, Kaunas University of Technology, Kaunas, Lithuania)
Aistė Dovalienė (School of Economics and Business, Kaunas University of Technology, Kaunas, Lithuania)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 18 January 2021

Issue publication date: 12 November 2021

638

Abstract

Purpose

The rise of telehealth is evident worldwide, especially now with the COVID-19 pandemic situation, and is providing extensive opportunities for health-care organisations to create added value for different stakeholders. However, even in this extreme situation, the progress of telehealth is quite slow and insufficient. In this context, it is necessary to consider how the application of telehealth services allows co-creating additional value for different stakeholders. Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to explore telehealth services and the added value that they co-create for various stakeholders across publicly and privately oriented health-care ecosystems.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopted a qualitative research design based on an explorative and comparative approach to study the perceived added value that is co-created during telehealth encounters. The authors deployed a semi-structured interview research design. Interviews were carried out in two settings that have different health-care systems: Lithuania (publicly oriented health care) and the California Bay Area, USA, (privately oriented health care). The research covers telehealth services from the point of view of different stakeholders in the health-care ecosystem.

Findings

The paper emphasises that value-in-use is essential in the case of telehealth; however, value-in-exchange is relevant to describe the relationships between public and private insurers and health-care providers. The findings point out that despite the type of health-care system, telehealth added value-in-use was perceived quite similar in both research settings, and differences could be distinguished mainly at the sub-dimensional level. The added value-in-use for patients comprises economic, functional and emotional value; physicians potentially get functional added value-in-use. The authors also highlight that patients and physicians get relational functional and social value-in-use. The added value-in-use for health-care providers consists of economic (in both research settings) and functional value (in Lithuania). The research findings show that there is still an evident lack of health insurance companies ready to recognise telehealth as a valuable service and to reimburse similarly to in cases of in-person visits. Thus, the added value-in-exchange is hardly created and this impedes co-creation of the added value-in-use.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the field mainly by transferring the business research applied concept of value co-creation into the social-purpose driven health-care industry. The findings are beneficial for the health-care management stream of the literature, which considers health care as a value-based industry. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first attempt to structure the perceived telehealth added value from the perspectives of different stakeholders and two different health-care ecosystems. This paper also gives a clearer understanding of the role of the value-in-exchange in such complex ecosystems as health care and gives reasons when it could be created in synergy with co-creation of the value-in-use. In this sense, the findings are beneficial from both marketing and innovation theoretical perspectives, as they give a special attention to value creation and co-creation phenomena analysis.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This project has received funding from the European Social Fund (project No K7120193) under a grant agreement with the Research Council of Lithuania (LMTLT).

Citation

Gadeikienė, A., Pundzienė, A. and Dovalienė, A. (2021), "How does telehealth shape new ways of co-creating value?", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 29 No. 6, pp. 1423-1442. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOA-07-2020-2355

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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