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Accepted Paper:

Digital transformation of European healthcare systems: gaining insights from the adoption of video-consultation  
Frederique Bone (Fraunhofer ISI) Nils B. Heyen (Fraunhofer ISI) Tanja Kaufmann Piret Fischer Tanja Bratan

Short abstract:

Digital tools can play an important role to render healthcare systems sustainable. Using the lens of transition theory and the case of video-consultation we aim to understand the ongoing socio-technical transformation in healthcare systems.

Long abstract:

Given the multiplicity of both endogenous (e.g. aging of the population) and external pressures (e.g. climate change) towards the sustainability of healthcare systems, academic understanding of transformation processes and policy solutions are urgently needed. Digital tools can play an important role in addressing the current challenges. Our presentation will specifically explore the case of video-consultation in European healthcare systems. It takes a holistic view of transformation using transition theory (Geels 2002; Geels and Schot 2007) to understand landscape pressures, niche development, stakeholder's roles, and transition processes. We highlight systemic specificities of healthcare systems, using a cross-country comparison between Germany, France and the UK. The results show the complexity of the sociotechnical transformation process in the three countries, and that transformation in healthcare systems is a slow process, where many stakeholders, such as physicians, policy makers and to some extent patients, shape the introduction of the video-consultation niche. The imperative of the COVID-19 pandemic was a turning point in the adoption of the technology, enabled by pre-existing policies. However, since the end of the pandemic its use has slowed down, indicating that new practices will not replace the incumbent regime. This hints at a co-existence and partial integration of the new niche, as digital technologies cannot completely substitute the social imperative of healthcare, based on the relation of trust and care between physician and patient built through a face-to-face relationship.

Traditional Open Panel P290
Sociotechnical transformations of health care: practices of objectivations, knowledge translation and new forms of agency
  Session 1 Friday 19 July, 2024, -