Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Vassolo R., Mac Cawley A., Tortorella G., Fogliatto F., Tlapa D., Narayanamurthy G. (2021)

Hospital Investment Decisions in Healthcare 4.0 Technologies: Scoping Review and Framework for Exploring Challenges, Trends, and Research Directions

Revista : Journal of Medical Internet Research
Volumen : 23
Número : 8
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Background:Alternative approaches to analyzing and evaluating health care investments in state-of-the-art technologies are being increasingly discussed in the literature, especially with the advent of Healthcare 4.0 (H4.0) technologies or eHealth. Such investments generally involve computer hardware and software that deal with the storage, retrieval, sharing, and use of health care information, data, and knowledge for communication and decision-making. Besides, the use of these technologies significantly increases when addressed in bundles. However, a structured and holistic approach to analyzing investments in H4.0 technologies is not available in the literature.Objective:This study aims to analyze previous research related to the evaluation of H4.0 technologies in hospitals and characterize the most common investment approaches used. We propose a framework that organizes the research associated with hospitals’ H4.0 technology investment decisions and suggest five main research directions on the topic.Methods:To achieve our goal, we followed the standard procedure for scoping reviews. We performed a search in the Crossref, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science databases with the keywords investment, health, industry 4.0, investment, health technology assessment, healthcare 4.0, and smart in the title, abstract, and keywords of research papers. We retrieved 5701 publications from all the databases. After removing papers published before 2011 as well as duplicates and performing further screening, we were left with 244 articles, from which 33 were selected after in-depth analysis to compose the final publication portfolio.Results:Our findings show the multidisciplinary nature of the research related to evaluating hospital investments in H4.0 technologies. We found that the most common investment approaches focused on cost analysis, single technology, and single decision-maker involvement, which dominate bundle analysis, H4.0 technology value considerations, and multiple decision-maker involvement.Conclusions:Some of our findings were unexpected, given the interrelated nature of H4.0 technologies and their multidimensional impact. Owing to the absence of a more holistic approach to H4.0 technology investment decisions, we identified five promising research directions for the topic: development of economic valuation methodologies tailored for H4.0 technologies; accounting for technology interrelations in the form of bundles; accounting for uncertainties in the process of evaluating such technologies; integration of administrative, medical, and patient perspectives into the evaluation process; and balancing and handling complexity in the decision-making process.