Exploring the potential of virtual hospital care

Guido Maarten Peters

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research external, graduation UT

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Healthcare expenditures in the Netherlands have been rising for decades, predominantly driven by demographic and technological developments. Due to the aging population, the prevalence of chronic diseases and multimorbidity is increasing, causing the demand for healthcare to rise. In addition to the rising healthcare costs, there is also a labor market shortage in the healthcare sector, particularly a shortage of nurses. It is expected that this shortage will grow substantially, meaning that healthcare systems will have to provide care for an increasing number of patients, with less personnel. To answer these challenges, virtual care is expected to have to play an important part. This dissertation had two main aims. The first aim was to explore the extent to which virtual hospital care could lead to cost savings or increases in capacity. The second aim of this dissertation was to assess the feasibility of remote continuous monitoring of vital signs.
This dissertation shows that virtual hospital care, in general, tends to reduce the number of (re)admissions and the length of hospital stay. These reductions can be expected to mainly have an impact on capacity. Expected cost savings are limited relative to the national healthcare budget, even in an optimistic scenario. This dissertation also shows that there is a need for further development of the technology, for example with regard to the reliability of data transmission, evidence that clinical deterioration can be detected with continuous monitoring of (a limited set of) vital signs, ease of use, and compatibility with existing work processes.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Doggen, Carine J.M., Supervisor
  • van Harten, Willem H., Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date23 Apr 2024
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-6043-6
Electronic ISBNs 978-90-365-6044-3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2024


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