This business concept addresses poor people’s needs to access better health care services making use of information and communication technology process. E-Health Online Social Enterprise is anchored on key assumptions that health management, information and communication technology are very crucial to the poor members of the society, just like other basic needs. Members of the society who are not computer literate need to learn and embrace the tools of information and technology in the health care services. E-Health provides the poor members of the society with quality and affordable health care services.
E-Health plans to reach out to 25 percent of the poor locals by the third year of operation. It plans to design a conceptual model that takes into account mortality and morbidity considering economic, social and political forces that determine resource allocation and management among the poor community members. The enterprise plans to invest in database and website development, which will cost approximately $41, 325. The e-Health database will provide a platform to offer the best quality healthcare services, referrals and maintaining repeat customers. On the other hand, the website will make it possible to reach many desperate healthcare consumers across the globe (Reid, 1996).
E-Health Social Enterprise is a corporation, located in Pittsburg. The business concept plan focuses on the targeted customers, products/services offered and the means to deliver the offerings. The vision of e-Health social enterprise is to provide quality and affordable health care services to their customers. The mission of e-Health social enterprise is to deliver timely and affordable health care services to their customers with the best efficiency and reliability. E-Health social enterprise targets the low income earners in the developing countries in order to offer them quality and affordable health care services. The services will be delivered online through Internet websites and mobile phones, but customers who are located in remote areas can get airlifted medical services (Field, 1996).
Currently, many communities are facing a shortage in healthcare services, and this demand for medication that is affordable to all has made it appropriate to establish an online social enterprise, e-Health. Health care problem extends to a wide geographical area since it is a global phenomenon that affects many communities in the entire world. Rural communities are the most affected, especially those from the developing countries. The problems that poor people from the developing world face the lack of quality and affordable health care services. It is difficult for them to access clean water for domestic use, proper sanitation, good transport and communication networks (Field, 1996).The rural poor communities are located in developing countries.
One of the potential competitors of the E-Health Social Enterprise is Vodafone e-Health. This is evident by the Vodafone e-Health case study for 2009, which is relevant for this business concept profile/plan. The Vodafone case study focused on the areas of long-term health care management, healthy living and community clinics (Nijland, 2011)
The enterprise is competent in its management, because it effectively uses social performance measurement frameworks. This includes double bottom line, triple bottom line and a balanced scorecard, which can be used in this plan. Among these, social performance measurement frameworks, the most appropriate one for the enterprise is the balanced scorecard (Reid, 1996). The marketing approach based on social performance target is the balanced score card.
E-Health Social Enterprise is focused to provide quality and healthcare services. Its laboratories are equipped with technological devices to scan breast cancer, carryout hip replacements and coronary stents implantation, which enable patients to live longer and have an active way of life. Moreover, the enterprise provides facilities, which enable patients to manage life-threatening diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and colon cancer, among others. Ultra-sound machines are also available to diagnose women with uterus complications. Pharmaceutical products help patients conquer serious infections such as rheumatoid arthritis and migraines.
The enterprise helps patients, because it also provides post-treatment healthcare and assessment services to its clients. These include good dietary habits, exercise programs and counseling services. In this regard, E-Health Social Enterprise uses healthcare delivery models that are clinically driven. These healthcare delivery models can be relevant for this business concept or plan because the information and communication technology tools are based on patient-centered care frameworks that make it possible to involve all the stakeholders in participative-decision making process. This ensures that financial resources are properly utilized since consumers who are involved in the decision making process are not likely to resist e-Health marketed services (Reid, 1996).
E-Health Social Enterprise provides medicine for treating mental ill-health. Mental disorder is a clinical issue that needs specialized treatment. Psychotherapy is the major treatment that could be administered to the patient. In such a scenario, the health professional on mental issues, such as clinical psychologists should be involved in an interpersonal intervention with the patient so that the information that the latter gives is treated appropriately.
Under psychotherapy, the medical expert would use distinctive psychological techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), in identifying the disease and prescribing it for the treatment. CBT could involve counseling the patient in an attempt to reverse the behavior. In addition, medical experts carry out psychoanalysis of the patient to determine the kind of medication appropriate for the person.
Market and Industry Analysis
In a business, the target market is the potential customers who seek to get the products. Since the business deals in healthcare products/services, the target market would be Pittsburg children and adults from lower, middle-income and upper- classes who have the financial capability to purchase such products, but the enterprise will expand to join the international market. The increased demand for the products caused the necessity to start the business and make sure that the products could reach the potential consumers. Specific healthcare products/services that customers need are manufactured in small quantities and outside the country, meaning that the local consumers might not access them in time. Through extensive marketing of the products, the enterprise would be able to reach the targeted consumers who require such healthcare products/services to meet their luxury needs. The broad target market for the enterprise includes the primary consumers and small scale businesses supplying similar products. Different kinds of buyers have unique preferences for the products. In this case, the healthcare products/services are popular among the people
Market segmentation is dividing the potential consumers according to different categories and unique characteristics. The consumers could be classified into various classes such as gender, income, age, level of education, family size, and religion. The segmentation is very useful because it enables the enterprise to select the promotion style it would use to sell the products. The essay focuses on three segments namely gender, income and age. In this regard, the company can earn $185k, if it gains 25% of the market share by the second year of its operation (Nijland, 2011). Different healthcare products will be airlifted to various regions since road and rail transport may not handle emergency cases. Upper class residential areas will be provided with more expensive healthcare products since they have a higher purchasing power.
E-Health Social Enterprise’s marketing strategy includes products,which are services such as medical exams, practices such as Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) or more ideas that are intangible like the protection of the environment. On the other hand, pricing strategy involves what the consumer must undertake in order to enjoy the benefits of the social marketing product. The social product cost can be in monetary terms or it may involve the giving up of intangibles in the form of time or effort by the consumer. E-Health communication programs sometimes expose the customer to the risks of embarrassment and/or disapproval. In case a customer is convinced by the E-Health Social Enterprise and is exposed to such risks, the embarrassment becomes the price that the customer will pay to enjoy the product offered (Cain & Mittman, 2002).
In E-Health Social Enterprise, if the social marketing product such as condoms is to be offered at the healthcare enterprise, then the place in this case, denotes the health clinic where customers access the social marketing product. Furthermore, promotion denotes the message the E-Health Social Enterprise uses to attract the attention of the target audience to the social marketing product offered.
E-Health Social Enterprise’s marketing strategy involves the use of the social media, public relations approaches and other marketing approaches (Nijland, 2011). Social networks to be used by e-Health online social enterprise include facebook and twitter The enterprise can as well use other media channels such as real time television shows, at a cost of $140k per year. Apart from the tradition public relations, the enterprise can make use of online public relations. The latter will be geared towards promoting the image and brand identity of the enterprise at the global scale. Other marketing approaches include building business relationships through alliances with other online e-Health social enterprises so as to give the business more strength in terms of human resources capital and finance to acquire more customers as well as maintaining the existing ones (Reid, 1996).
The implementation tools and approach can be analyzed under the software, hosting and web service options among others. E-Health can use File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and Web interface for enterprise web site hosting services. Comprehensive packages such as Java would be used to provide database support, and they can help in providing application development platforms that allow clients to write and install forum application scripts (Nijland, 2011).
Implementation approach options include open source applications deployed to the cloud and commercial application deployed in-house that can be chosen for e-health services. E-Health social enterprise plans to incorporate cloud computing in its data centre platform so as to get faster applications that are easier to manage and maintain. It will also facilitate the IT resources adjustment according to the unpredictable or fluctuating demands of the business (Field, 1996).
Management and Human Resources
The skills and competencies of 24 members to be recruited in the team are carefully analyzed. The enterprise (under my supervision) will also focus on selection and recruitment of the team members. Areas of key skills and competencies include strong analytical and communication. However, weakness can be witnessed in lack of ability to control emotion. Strong analytical and communication skills are very necessary in my team. Online channels such as career points and skillpages can be used in locating graduates with those skills. Besides, traditional channels that can be applied in the recruitment process include adverts in the local newspapers. Among these selection and recruitment processes, online chances would be the best for the enterprise (Nijland, 2011).
In summary, E-Health online social enterprise plans to use tools such as the Business Model Canvas to create, deliver and capture values. E-Health social enterprise plans to get funding from World Health Organizations (WHO) and donations from various Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to finance some of its startup costs and operational expenses. The enterprise will generate its revenue through medical fees and consultancy services. Other means of generating revenue for the enterprise include promotional campaigns using the firm’s website.