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Study of awareness, adoption and experience of telemedicine technology services; perspectives during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic crisis and associated economic lockdown in India

Som Sekhar Bhattacharyya (Department of Strategic Management, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India)
Prasad Vidyasagar Mandke (Department of Industrial Engineering, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India)

Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management

ISSN: 2053-4620

Article publication date: 1 June 2021

208

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the phenomenon of abrupt shift by both doctors and patients to telemedicine during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and associated economic lockdown in India. The study explored various drivers of telemedicine technology awareness, adoption and usage. These drives were studied from both the doctors and the patients’ perspectives using the Push–Pull–Mooring (PPM) theoretical model.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory qualitative research was carried out with 24 doctors and 32 patients. This research was conducted in major urban cities of India. It was carried out during the economic lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The data was collected based upon a semi-structured open-ended questionnaire using telephonic interviews. Once thematic saturation was achieved, thematic content analysis was conducted. Finally, the themes were classified and analyzed using the PPM theoretical model

Findings

The data analysis indicated that there was the presence of all three factors, namely, push, pull and mooring. For the doctors, pull and push factors were more substantive than mooring factors. Although for the patients push and mooring factors were more important and pressing than pull factors.

Research limitations/implications

This study was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic lockdown in India. The interview respondents were located only in urban India. Future studies could be conducted to explore similarities and differences in telemedicine adoption patterns during non-crisis times vis-a-vis crisis times in urban and rural settings.

Practical implications

The insights from this study could be used by medical service providers to leverage telemedicine technology to improve the business model, service delivery, pricing strategy, value proposition and behavioral characteristics. Patients on the other hand could gather perspectives regarding how best to use telemedicine technological services.

Originality/value

The authors provided an integrated perspective regarding telemedicine technology awareness, adoption and usage in an emerging economy of India during the critical times of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and the associated prolonged economic lockdown. This was one of the first studies that applied PPM theory for telemedicine adoption

Keywords

Citation

Bhattacharyya, S.S. and Mandke, P.V. (2021), "Study of awareness, adoption and experience of telemedicine technology services; perspectives during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic crisis and associated economic lockdown in India", Journal of Science and Technology Policy Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSTPM-10-2020-0146

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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