REACH: Responsive Architectures for Innovation in Collaborative Healthcare Services (completed)

Novel web-based and mobile technologies are expected to offer huge opportunities for reconfiguring healthcare towards more patient-centric models for service provision. This project will study the challenges and opportunities that utilization of these technologies poses to the existing digital information infrastructures (the "installed base") in the healthcare sector.

About the project

How will these novel technologies fit with the existing digital information infrastructures (the "installed base") in the healthcare sector? Will the existing infrastructure influences manage to accomodate and adapt to the new technologies? Which new services can emerge, and what will drive them or obstruct their emergence? These are some of the questions that we will pursue in this project.

On the one hand the new technologies should build on and utilize the existing information available, and on the other hand, the existing information infrastructures should be flexible enough to allow new service models to emerge.

Achieving such a productive interplay is not trivial, as new service models may create tensions with the existing installed base. For instance, patient-initiated access to providers' information systems via mobile or web technologies may go against the security architectures of the healthcare institutions. A patient-initiatied or needs-driven mode of communicaiton may interfere significantly with how work is organized in hospitals today, based on scheduled patient encounters. Moreover, the reimbursement reulations in the current activity-based financing system is currently not adapted to the new communication modes and service models.

In order to investigate such tensions, the project will draw on relevant theories from the cross-disciplinary Information Systems field, as well as Organizational Theory and Economics. By conducting multiple longitudinal qualitative case studies at Oslo University Hospital and Sunnaas Rehabilitation hospital, where diverse novel technologies are actually used, we contribute to an improved understanding of the conditions for realizing the transformative potential of these technologies, and for making productive use of the existing information infrastructures. Ideally, the existing technological, organizational and regulatory structures should be able to harness the potential for innovations arising in an open innovation system where the patients as users have a different role. By identifying core qualities of such "responsive architectures", we seek to define the infrastructure-related requirements, approaches and strategies that can accomodate, support and stimulate such technology-enabled innovative provision of patient-oriented health services.


The primary objective of the project is to generate cross-disciplinary knowledge about how to achieve responsive architectures (i.e. technical, organizational and economic structures) that can accomodate, support and stimulate innovative provision of patient-centered health services.

Our secondary objectives are:

a) through multiple qualitative case studies produce and disseminate knowledge about actual experiences of utilizing novel web-based and mobile technologies for offering healthcare services;

b) through multiple qualitative case studies document the challenges and opportunities posed by the existing ICT infrastructures, organizational forms and economic models when when novel web-based and mobile technologies are introduced;

c) produce insights of strategic relevance regarding desirable qualities of responsive architectures (i.e. technical, organizational and economic structures) and appropriate governance mechanisms for the healthcare sector.

 Project Partners

Department of Informatics, UiO, BI School of Management, Oslo University Hospital, Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital


The REACH project is funded by the VERDIKT programme (Research Council of Norway)

Published Feb. 9, 2012 12:48 PM - Last modified Oct. 14, 2016 2:46 PM


Project leader: Margunn Aanestad (