A Study on Business Model and Technical Framework for China's Inclusive Healthcare Services

UoM administered thesis: Doctor of Business Administration

  • Authors:
  • Jiangnan Liu

Abstract

China is currently facing a serious conundrum in terms of healthcare availability and equity (which is characterized by the uneven distribution of medical resources among urban and rural areas, and a widening gap in medical service standards among different regions). This has resulted in limited accesses to and high costs of healthcare services for residences in less developed areas. In view of these issues, China has planned to launch an initiative called “Inclusive Healthcare” to improve the level of medical services in less developed areas. To provide such inclusive healthcare services, we propose a new business model with dual-components and develop a technical framework for supporting such an initiative. The proposed business model consists of two parts. The first part is market-oriented and for-profit, serving as a fund-raising mechanism for the inclusive healthcare services. The second part is charitable in nature and is responsible for developing and managing the operations platform for inclusive healthcare services. From the perspective of governance and funding, we illustrate the key drivers in the implementation of the inclusive healthcare services, followed by an analysis of the new business model based on four elements of the business model proposed by Johnson et al. (2008). These elements include customer value proposition, key resources, key processes, and profit formula. In the discussion on customer value proposition, we focus on how the dual-component business model creates value, and how each participant profits from the new business model. In the discussion on key resources, we focus on the important roles of technologies such as the Internet and artificial intelligence (AI) for implementing the inclusive healthcare service systems. In the discussion on key processes, rather than considering how investors in the market-oriented part manage the healthcare service system, we emphasize the business processes of the charitable part and the positive capital inflow from the market-oriented part to the charitable part. In the discussion on profit formula, we emphasize how the coupled business model generates profit, right from the interface between the market-oriented part and the charitable part. Finally, building on the coupled dual business model for inclusive healthcare services, we provide specific recommendations on the development and implementation of the initiative. To help put the proposed model into practice, we use the case study approach to study the critical success factors for implementing inclusive healthcare services in remote and less developed areas of China. By reviewing the literature on critical success factors for public-private partnerships (PPP) and healthcare services projects, we summarize the possible critical success factors for implementing the “inclusive healthcare services”. Then, through interviews with two government officials, one investment company executive, four hospital leaders, eight doctors and twenty patients, we identify six critical success factors which are: medical infrastructure, technology, funding, government support, external environment, and organization planning and operations. In this thesis, we also propose a technical framework for implementing inclusive healthcare service systems based on cloud computing and artificial intelligence technologies. At the core of this framework is an integrated architecture using multi-sources of medical data. The architecture is in line with the diagnostic logic of evidence-based medicine, and it is implementable using the theory of evidence-based reasoning. It can make diagnoses by fusing various types of medical data from multiple sources. Furthermore, we construct a cloud system for inclusive healthcare services to support the proposed framework, which comprises three layers: infrastructure, platform service, and platform application. The infrastructure layer provides basic services for the cloud system to collect and compile basic medical data. The platform service layer integrates cloud storage, cloud computing and application development platforms in order to respond to data processing requests and application development requirements. The application layer is intended for doctors and other users. It includes a human-computer interface, a comprehensive medical record processing system, and a comprehensive medical image processing system. Finally, using multimodality brain tumour imaging as an example, we develop a multimodal brain tumour medical imaging diagnostic methodology, based on evidence fusion theory. Experiments show the effectiveness of the evidence fusion technology in the proposed technical framework.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date1 Aug 2019