Smart, remote, and targeted health care facilitation through connected health: Qualitative study

Sonia Chien I. Chen, Ridong Hu, Rodney McAdam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
55 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Societies around the world are aging. Widespread aging creates problems for social services and health care practices. In this light, research on connected health (CH) is becoming essential. CH refers to a variety of technological measures that allow health care to be provided remotely with the aim of increasing efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and satisfaction on the part of health care recipients. CH is reshaping health care's direction to be more proactive, more preventive, and more precisely targeted and, thus, more effective. CH has been demonstrated to have great value in managing and preventing chronic diseases, which create huge burdens on health care and social services. In short, CH provides promising solutions to diseases and social challenges associated with aging populations. However, there are many barriers that need to be overcome before CH can be successfully and widely implemented. 

Objective: The research question of this study is as follows: How can CH facilitate smart, remote, and targeted health care? The objective is to identify how health care can be managed in more comprehensive ways, such as by providing timely, flexible, accessible, and personalized services to preserve continuity and offer high-quality seamless health care. 

Methods: A qualitative approach was used based on 60 multistage, semistructured stakeholder interviews. 

Results: The results can be divided into two functions of CH: Ecosystem and platform. On the one hand, the interviews enabled the authors to develop a stakeholder classification and interaction diagram. These stakeholders interacted sequentially to provide technology-based content to end users. On the other hand, interviewees reflected on how CH serves as a platform to address remote monitoring and patient self-management. In the Discussion section, three innovation strategies are discussed to reflect the manner in which CH promotes smart, timely, and precise health care. 

Conclusions: This study indicates that it is essential to continually revise CH business models, given the ongoing and rapid changes in technology across groups of CH stakeholders. We also found that global trends toward smart, timely, and precise health care shape what individuals expect from products and services, providing firms with unique opportunities for growth.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14201
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 28 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was partially supported by the Vice Chancellor Research Studentship from Ulster University, and SC Limited Company. The APC was funded by Huaqiao University High-level Talent Research Project and The Straits Postdoctoral Fellowship Funding Program in 2018, Fujing Financial office no [2017] 32/605 50X18137. All authors made equal contributions. The authors would like to thank the supervisors, Professor Rodney McAdam, Dr Michael Brennan, and Dr Shirley Davey from Ulster University, for sharing their pearls of wisdom during this research. The authors are also immensely grateful to Mr Ray Palmer and David Liu for their comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Journal of Medical Internet Research. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Access
  • Connected health care
  • Health care quality
  • Precision medicine
  • Remote monitoring
  • Self-management
  • Smart health care


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