The technological, organizational and environmental determinants of adoption of mobile health applications (m-health) by hospitals in Kenya

Autoři: Bahati Prince Ngongo aff001;  Phares Ochola aff001;  Joyce Ndegwa aff001;  Paul Katuse aff001
Působiště autorů: Chandaria School of Business, United States International University- Africa, Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article



Sub-Saharan Africa lags in adoption of mobile health (m-health) applications and in leveraging m-health for sustainable development goals. There is a need for a comprehensive investigation of determinants of hospitals’ adoption of m-health in Sub-Saharan Africa to inform policies, practices and investments.


This investigation used a logit regression model to analyze the determinants of m-health adoption in Kenyan hospitals applying the Technological, Organizational and Environmental (TOE) framework and the Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) theory. A representative sample of 211 executives of Level 4–6 hospitals in 24 counties provided primary data on Patient-Centered (PC) and Facility-Centered (FC) m-health applications.


Both PC and FC m-health adoption were predicted by competition for patients (PC p = 0.041, FC p = 0.021), IT human resource capacity (PC p = 0.048, FC p = 0.037), and hospital pursuit of market growth through technological leadership (PC p = 0.010, FC p = 0.020). Further determinants of PC m-health adoption included hospital access to slack financial resources (p = 0.006), acquisition strategy (p = 0.011), compatibility with the hospital systems (p = 0.015), trialability (p = 0.019), medical insurance company support (p = 0.025),patient pressure (p = 0.036), and perceived effect of global medical tourism (p = 0.039). FC m-health adoption was predicted by hospital size (p = 0.008), ICT infrastructure capacity (p = 0.041), and government support (p = 0.013).


A differentiated approach is required to scale up m-health adoption. PC m-health requires emphasis on establishing national and regional compatibility and interoperability, developing trialability processes and validation mechanisms, incentivizing patient competition and mobility, establishing innovative and cost-effective acquisition strategies, and ensuring integration of digital services within national insurance schemes and policies. These policies require support from patients and communities to drive demand and spur investment in adequate IT human resources to maintain reliability. Pilot PC m-health projects should prioritize hospitals with slack financial resources, while FC m-health should target large facility size. FC m-health applications are more complex and costly than PC, requiring government incentives to trigger hospital investments and national investment in ICT infrastructure. Investors and hospital managers should integrate m-health into market growth strategies for sustainable m-health scale-up in Kenya and beyond.

Klíčová slova:

Communication in health care – Decision making – Finance – Health care policy – Health insurance – Kenya – Structure of markets


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