An Analysis of Entrepreneurial Health Ventures: Why Telemedicine and mhealth Pilots Fail to Scale
Sundin, Phillip J
Area of Honors:
Elective Area of Honors - Engineering Design
Bachelor of Science
Khanjan Mehta, Thesis Supervisor Dr. Sven G Bilén, Honors Advisor
telemedicine mHealth business models failure modes
Telemedicine and “mHealth” recently have become more common in the developing world as channels to overcome medical accessibility problems in rural areas. However, with an increasing number of these ventures, many of them fail to grow beyond a pilot phase into larger, sustainable systems. Even with support from charity organizations, governments, and philanthropists, many telemedicine ventures are not designed with scalability in mind. Therefore, a vast majority of these projects and organizations fail to achieve their full potential of creating and sustaining large mHealth programs to address global health problems. After reviewing 35 entrepreneurial telemedicine and mHealth ventures and 17 additional reports of mHealth and telemedicine and analysis, this thesis documents a variety of challenges that any mHealth or telemedicine venture may face. By using real-world examples, it is hoped that these strategies can be implemented in the design phases of pilot projects to ensure both sustainability and scalability of mHealth operations in the future. Understanding these failure modes and properly implementing them can help organizations develop effective telemedicine and mHealth programs that serve the needs of the billions of this people in this world without access to proper medical resources.