The digital transformation of the healthcare industry: exploring the rise of emerging platform ecosystems and their influence on the role of patients

Sebastian Hermes, Tobias Riasanow, Eric K. Clemons, Markus Böhm, and Helmut Krcmar (2020) – Business Research, 1-37


While traditional organizations create value within the boundaries of their firm or supply chain, digital platforms leverage and orchestrate a platform-mediated ecosystem to create and co-create value with a much wider array of partners and actors. Although the change to two-sided markets and their generalization to platform ecosystems have been adopted among various industries, both academic research and industry adoption have lagged behind in the healthcare industry. To the best of our knowledge current Information Systems research has not yet incorporated an interorganizational perspective of the digital transformation of healthcare. This neglects a wide range of emerging changes, including changing segmentation of industry market participants, changing patient segments, changing patient roles as decision makers, and their interaction in patient care. This study therefore investigates the digital transformation of the healthcare industry by analyzing 1830 healthcare organizations found on Crunchbase. We derived a generic value ecosystem of the digital healthcare industry and validated our findings with industry experts from the traditional and the start-up healthcare domains. The results indicate 8 new roles within healthcare, namely: information platforms, data collection technology, market intermediaries, services for remote and on-demand healthcare, augmented and virtual reality provider, blockchain-based PHR, cloud service provider, and intelligent data analysis for healthcare provider. Our results further illustrate how these roles transform value proposition, value capture, and value delivery in the healthcare industry. We discuss competition between new entrants and incumbents and elaborate how digital health innovations contribute to the changing role of patients.

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