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Challenges for developing health-care knowledge in the digital age

Dana Abdullah Alrahbi (College of Business, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Mehmood Khan (College of Business, Abu Dhabi University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Shivam Gupta (Department of Information Systems, Supply Chain and Decision Making, NEOMA Business School, Reims, France)
Sachin Modgil (International Management Institute, Kolkata, India)
Charbel Jose Chiappetta Jabbour (Lincoln International Business School, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 7 December 2020

Issue publication date: 8 April 2022




Health-care knowledge is dispersed among different departments in a health care organization, which makes it difficult at times to provide quality care services to patients. Therefore, this study aims to identify the main challenges in adopting health information technology (HIT).


This study surveyed 148 stakeholders in 4 key categories [patients, health-care providers, United Arab Emirates (UAE) citizens and foresight experts] to identify the challenges they face in adopting health care technologies. Responses were analyzed using exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).


EFA revealed four key latent factors predicting resistance to HIT adoption, namely, organizational strategy (ORGS); technical barriers; readiness for big data and the internet of things (IoT); and orientation (ORI). ORGS accounted for the greatest amount of variance. CFA indicated that readiness for big data and the IoT was only moderately correlated with HIT adoption, but the other three factors were strongly correlated. Specific items relating to cost, the effectiveness and usability of the technology and the organization were strongly correlated with HIT adoption. These results indicate that, in addition to financial considerations, effective HIT adoption requires ensuring that technologies will be easy to implement to ensure their long-term use.

Research limitations/implications

The results indicate that readiness for big data and the IoT-related infrastructure poses a challenge to HIT adoption in the UAE context. Respondents believed that the infrastructure of big data can be helpful in more efficiently storing and sharing health-care information. On the technological side, respondents felt that they may experience a steep learning curve. Regarding ORI, stakeholders expected many more such initiatives from health-care providers to make it more knowledge-specific and proactive.

Practical implications

This study has implications for knowledge management in the health -care sector for information technologies. The HIT can help firms in creating a knowledge eco-system, which is not possible in a dispersed knowledge environment. The utilization of the knowledge base that emerged from the practices and data can help the health care sector to set new standards of information flow and other clinical services such as monitoring the self-health condition. The HIT can further influence the actions of the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.


This paper highlights the challenges in HIT adoption and the most prominent factors. The conceptual model was empirically tested after the collection of primary data from the UAE using stakeholder theory.



Alrahbi, D.A., Khan, M., Gupta, S., Modgil, S. and Chiappetta Jabbour, C.J. (2022), "Challenges for developing health-care knowledge in the digital age", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 824-853.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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