How Geographical Isolation and Aging in Place Can Be Accommodated Through Connected Health Stakeholder Management: Qualitative Study With Focus Groups

Sonia Chien-i Chen, Chenglian Liu, Zhenyuan Wang, Rodney Mcadam, Michael Brennan, Shirley Davey, Teng Yuan Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
80 Downloads (Pure)


Background: In remote areas, connected health (CH) is needed, but as local resources are often scarce and the purchasing power of residents is usually poor, it is a challenge to apply CH in these settings. In this study, CH is defended as a technological solution for reshaping the direction of health care to be more proactive, preventive, and precisely targeted—and thus, more effective.

Objective: The objective of this study was to explore the identity of CH stakeholders in remote areas of Taiwan and their interests and power in order to determine ideal strategies for applying CH. We aimed to explore the respective unknowns and discover insights for those facing similar issues.

Methods: Qualitative research was conducted to investigate and interpret the phenomena of the aging population in a remote setting. An exploratory approach was employed involving semistructured interviews with 22 participants from 8 remote allied case studies. The interviews explored perspectives on stakeholder arrangements, including the power and interests of stakeholders and the needs of all the parties in the ecosystem.

Results: Results were obtained from in-depth interviews and focus groups that included identifying the stakeholders of remote health and determining how they influence its practice, as well as how associated agreements bring competitive advantages. Stakeholders included people in government sectors, industrial players, academic researchers, end users, and their associates who described their perspectives on their power and interests in remote health service delivery. Specific facilitators of and barriers to effective delivery were identified. A number of themes, such as government interests and power of decision making, were corroborated across rural and remote services. These themes were broadly grouped into the disclosure of conflicts of interest, asymmetry in decision making, and data development for risk assessment.

Conclusions: This study contributes to current knowledge by exploring the features of CH in remote areas and investigating its implementation from the perspectives of stakeholder management. It offers insights into managing remote health through a CH platform, which can be used for preliminary quantitative research. Consequently, these findings could help to more effectively facilitate diverse stakeholder engagement for health information sharing and social interaction.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15976
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 27 May 2020


  • Business strategy
  • Connected health care
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Population aging
  • Remote areas
  • Taiwan


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