Mahmud, Hoger (2019) Modelling and Developing Virtual Collaboration for Healthcare. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The demand for healthcare services are rising as the world’s population is increasing, and on average, people are living longer. As a result, healthcare services are becoming more complex to organise and expensive to provide. Researchers in the field are arguing that the current centralised model of healthcare provision cannot address challenges relating to service cost, quality and availability and there is a need to decentralise it. To decentralise, virtual collaboration systems where healthcare organisers, providers and receivers can work together and share resources across time and space are seen as the future of healthcare.

Literatures suggest that a modelling framework specific to healthcare virtual collaboration is yet to be developed and there are unaddressed challenges relating to the organisation and management aspects of healthcare virtual collaboration. In this thesis, Virtual Breeding Environment (VBE) and Virtual Organisation (VO) concepts are used as theoretical bases to answer research questions relating to modelling, organising and managing virtual collaboration for healthcare. To contribute to the modelling aspect of virtual collaboration in healthcare and address organisational and managerial challenges of healthcare virtual collaboration the first objective of the thesis is to develop a modelling framework to enable system developers model healthcare virtual collaboration in terms of participants and services classification, representation and descriptions. The second objective is to develop a framework based on concepts developed in the modelling framework, to be used as guide to develop systems for organising and managing healthcare virtual collaborations.

To achieve the objectives, a deductive research approach is used to develop theoretical frameworks first, and later implement and evaluate the frameworks. For evaluation purpose, Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) is modified three times by adding new constructs. The extended TAMs are used as theoretical evaluation frameworks to test the acceptability of the technologies developed in this thesis. For each extension, a set of hypotheses are defined to be tested by prospective target users. Survey questionnaire is used as a data collection method, and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) technique is used to analyse the collected data statistically in AMOS software.

The first contribution of this thesis is a Healthcare Virtual Breeding Environment Modelling Framework (HC-VBE-M-F) which consists of a service and participant classification mechanism, a domain specific modelling language and a service orchestration description language. The frame work is implemented as a Java application and has been tested for acceptance by system developers.

The second contribution is a Healthcare Virtual Breeding Environment Framework (HC-VBE-F) which is based on the first framework. The framework consists of a conceptual description, a member selection mechanism, a service level agreement creation and management mechanism and a provider verification and validation mechanism. The Framework is implemented as a mobile application and it is evaluated by healthcare requesters and providers for acceptance.

The evaluation results show that the frameworks are both acceptable by prospective users and their intensions to use systems developed based on the two developed frameworks are positive and validated empirically. The achievements of this thesis are the developed mechanisms and frameworks that together facilitate the modelling and development of healthcare virtual collaboration systems based on VBE and VO concepts.

FINAL THESIS - Mahmud.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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