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An open health platform for the early detection of complex diseases: the case of breast cancer
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Entrepreneurship and innovation.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Complex diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes are often diagnosed too late, which significantly impairs treatment options and, in turn, lowers patient’s survival rate drastically and increases the costs significantly. Moreover, the growth of medical data is faster than the ability of healthcare systems to utilize them. Almost 80% of medical data are unstructured, but they are clinically relevant.

On the other hand, technological advancements have made it possible to create different  igital health solutions where healthcare and ICT meet. Also, some individuals have already started to measure their body function parameters, track their health status, research their symptoms and even intervene in treatment options which means a great deal of data is being produced and also indicates that patient-driven health care models are transforming how health care functions. These models include quantified self-tracking, consumer-personalized-medicine and health social networks.

This research aims to present an open innovation digital health platform which creates value  y using the overlaps between healthcare, information technology and artificial intelligence. This platform could potentially be utilized for early detection of complex diseases by leveraging Big Data technology which could improve awareness by recognizing pooled symptoms of a specific disease. This would enable individuals to effortlessly and quantitatively track and become aware of changes in their health, and through a dialog with a doctor, achieve diagnosis at a significantly earlier stage.

This thesis focuses on a case study of the platform for detecting breast cancer at a  ignificantly earlier stage. A qualitative research method is implemented through reviewing the literature, determining the knowledge gap, evaluating the need, performing market research, developing a conceptual prototype and presenting the open innovation platform. Finally, the value creation, applications and challenges of such platform are investigated, analysed and discussed based on the collected data from interviews and surveys. This study combines an explanatory and an analytical research approach, as it aims not only to describe the case, but also to explain the value creation for different stakeholders in the value chain.

The findings indicate that there is an urgent need for early diagnosis of complex diseases such as breast cancer) and also handling direct and indirect consequences of late diagnosis.

A significant outcome of this research is the conceptual prototype which was developed based on the general proposed concept through a customer development process. According to the conducted surveys, 95% of the cancer patients and 84% of the healthy individuals are willing to use the proposed platform. The results indicate that it can create significant values for patients, doctors, academic institutions, hospitals and even healthy individuals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 78 p.
Keyword [en]
Open innovation, digital health, Big Data, value creation, personalized medicine, quantified self, participatory bio-citizen
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-189621OAI: diva2:947408
Available from: 2016-10-13 Created: 2016-07-08 Last updated: 2016-10-13Bibliographically approved

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