Designing a stakeholder-inclusive service model for an eHealth service to support older adults in an active and social life

Marijke Broekhuis*, Marit Dekker van Weering, Cheyenne Schuit, Stefan Schürz, Lex van Velsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Service model design is slowly being recognized among eHealth developers as a valuable method for creating durable implementation strategies. Nonetheless, practical guidelines and case-studies that inform the community on how to design a service model for an eHealth innovation are lacking. This study describes the development of a service model for an eHealth service, titled ‘SALSA’, which intends to support older adults with a physically active and socially inclusive lifestyle. Methods: The service model for the SALSA service was developed in eight consecutive rounds, using a mixed-methods approach. First, a stakeholder salience analysis was conducted to identify the most relevant stakeholders. In rounds 2–4, in-depth insights about implementation barriers, facilitators and workflow processes of these stakeholders were gathered. Rounds 5 and 6 were set up to optimize the service model and receive feedback from stakeholders. In rounds 7 and 8, we focused on future implementation and integrating the service model with the technical components of the eHealth service. Results: While the initial goal was to create one digital platform for the eHealth service, the results of the service modelling showed how the needs of two important stakeholders, physiotherapists and sports trainers, were too different for integrating them in one platform. Therefore, the decision was made to create two platforms, one for preventive (senior sports activities) and one for curative (physical rehabilitation) purposes. Conclusions: A service model shows the interplay between service model design, technical development and business modelling. The process of service modelling helps to align the interests of the different stakeholders to create support for future implementation of an eHealth service. This study provides clear documentation on how to conduct service model design processes which can enable future learning and kickstart new research. Our results show the potential that service model design has for service development and innovation in health care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number654
JournalBMC health services research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • eHealth
  • Implementation
  • Service model
  • User-centred design


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