The change of pediatric surgery practice due to the emergence of connected health technologies

Riikka Niemelä, Minna Pikkarainen, Mari Ervasti, Jarmo Reponen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: Disruptive connected health technologies, or digitalization, are suggested to tackle the healthcare challenges and transform traditional care models. In Finland, the transformation is manifested by the development of various digital hospitals and citizen-centric care models that foster self-care by utilizing connected health technologies. In this paper we introduce qualitative research that uses social practice theory in order to understand how connected health technologies shape a pediatric day surgery practice in future digital hospitals. Major improvement needs were identified to center on discursive actions (i.e., communication that occurs between health professionals and patients), since hospital IT systems, data exchange, and internal and external communication were found to not support pediatric surgery practice as expected. To improve the current situation, we found out that there is a need to change the patient role to be more active, creating data that health professionals could use through their own patient record systems. Connected health solutions allow this type of interaction between things (i.e., communication through mobile apps, medical devices, etc.) and agents (i.e., health professionals). There is an urgent need to improve communication channels such as Chat, WhatsApp, and mobile applications that gather all necessary information and instructions from patients before and after the surgery. However, these solutions cannot be co-created separately from the clinical decision systems that allow discursive actions among healthcare professionals. These solutions, e.g. mobile applications designed to support patients going through the surgery practice, will also significantly impact and change pediatric surgery practice at hospitals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)352-365
    Number of pages14
    JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2019
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Connected health technologies
    • Digital transformation
    • Future hospitals
    • Pediatric surgery practice
    • Social practice theory


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