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Economic evaluation of an investment in medical websites and medical web-based services.

Xydopoulos, Georgios (2015) Economic evaluation of an investment in medical websites and medical web-based services. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Healthcare is a unique and complex economic sector much different from any other. It is a sector highly institutionalized, under great government influence, and facing crucial resource allocation issues that threaten the stability of healthcare systems and the survivability of healthcare units worldwide. Evaluation of the processes, interventions and Information Technology (IT) use in healthcare systems is a pressing since the emerging e-Health applications carry a strong potential for solving efficiency and resource allocation problems. Especially nowadays, the increasingly popular medical websites, with the plethora of web medical applications that they offer, are forming a promising emerging market which enables better efficiency and the further evolution of the healthcare systems. Through understanding the factors that lead people to use medical websites and by evaluating the new technological initiatives in healthcare, the road towards better efficiency and cost effectiveness may become shorter. The main thrust of this research is to examine ways of evaluating an investment in the medical websites and apply methods that are well-established and successfully used in other economic sectors To achieve the aims of this research a comprehensive investigation of the extant literature performed and showed that until now evaluation methods like Cost-Benefit Analysis and Return on Investment were used in healthcare with main purpose to evaluate medical treatments, treatment processes and enhance medical education rather than focusing on evaluating processes and technological changes and interventions in healthcare and apply in healthcare sector what was successfully used in other economic sectors such as business and manufacturing. Moreover this research investigated the factors that contribute to the success and the survivability of the medical websites and provided some forecasting and key performance indicators for medical websites. In order to fulfil the aims of this research, a sample of medical web sites was used to form a rich dataset that was analysed using regression modelling. The medical websites were evaluated from the perspective of a medical virtual enterprise that provides medical advices/content and medical applications using a unique feature selection based methodology employing the use of novel tools. Furthermore a novel crowd-sourcing methodology was implemented, tested first in a Willingness to Pay online survey setting, utilising innovative tools and the power of the social networks for the identification of the perceived value of the medical web-based services The results of this research show that the factors that can have great impact on the business excellence and survivability of the medical websites seem to be the current status of the medical website, the category in which it is classified according to its content, the nature of the organization that supports the website, the source of its funding, as well as its presence in search engines and social networks. Finally These results showed that an investment on a successful medical website can be proved to be quite beneficial and profitable, not just for the public/private organization or the individual investor(s) who develops or owns it, but also sufficiently satisfactory for a great number of the Internet users/ patients.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Date : 31 July 2015
Funders : N/A
Contributors :
Depositing User : Georgios Xydopoulos
Date Deposited : 08 Sep 2015 09:06
Last Modified : 17 May 2017 14:24

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