Call for Papers

CfP special issue on "Digital healthcare services"

No longer accepting submissions

Guest Editors


Digitalization is playing an increasing role in practically all areas of society. The domain of health care has been moving into the digital world relatively late and only recently has started with digitalizing processes and services on a larger scale. Data science and artificial intelligence, in particular, can play a major role for implementing advanced digitalized services.

As far as the health care industry is concerned, the potential for disruption is enormous. Tech giants like Apple, Amazon or Facebook are preparing to add health care to their core businesses. Until now, their foray has not gone much beyond wearable devices to track fitness or the provision of cloud computing services to health care providers. However, in future they aim to deliver real medical services that directly affect individual patients. Thanks to its ubiquity, the smartphone can be turned into a medical device for measuring heart rate, blood oxygenation and many other vital signs. This can generate or enable valuable health insights for the individual user. Going a step further, analyzing the data collected from millions of users can yield insights into which treatments work best for which kinds of patients. It might even become possible to offer predictive analytics services on future health outcomes based on a person’s behavior and adherence to a treatment regime.

There are two main routes into the health care market for tech firms: 1) doing business with hospitals and health care companies or professions in the existing system; 2) use their various platforms to create entirely new channels through which medical care or preventive interventions can be delivered. Channels may include smartwatches that use machine learning algorithms for health monitoring, smartphones for use in clinical trials or apps that help people manage chronic conditions such as diabetes. However, this will only work if users can trust the devices and the channels through which medical data can flow.

Based on the technology and the services provided by tech firms, other companies such as health insurance or telecom companies, may enter the market with value-added services. However, the impact of digital technologies and associated services on the healthcare sector is not limited to the emergence of new players, but also concerns the changing roles of the various stakeholders.

Central issues and themes

Given these exciting new opportunities as outlined above, a special issue of the Electronic Markets Journal will focus on new, innovative approaches to digital healthcare services as well as digital solutions that may improve or will change the interaction and communication between patients, doctors, insurance companies and other stakeholders. They should discuss how their approaches and solutions enable new business models, innovative value chains as well as digital platforms and ecosystems. The (non-exclusive) list of topics includes:

  •           Mobile health apps  
  •           Support for behavioral change and adherence with therapy plans

  •           Health monitoring with sensors

  •           Point-of-care diagnostics

  •           Value-added services based on ambient and wearable sensors

  •           Data mining on health data

  •           Predictive analytics

  •           New insights on causes of diseases and effectiveness of therapies

  •           Role of AI in diagnostics and therapy planning

  •           Augmented and virtual reality applications for rehabilitation

  •           Digital health platforms and their underlying business models

  •           Health data: ownership, access control, interoperability

  •           Addressing trust and privacy issues in digital health

We encourage contributions with a broad range of methodological approaches, including conceptual, qualitative and quantitative research. All papers should fit the scope of Electronic Markets (for more information see and will undergo a double-blind peer review process. If you would like to discuss any aspect of the special issue, please contact the guest Editors.


Electronic Markets is a Social Science Citation Index (SSCI)-listed journal (IF 3.553 in 2018) and seeks original contributions with a broad range of methodological approaches. All papers should fit the journal’s scope (see and will undergo a double blind, peer review process. Submissions must be made via the journal’s submission system at and comply with the journal's formatting standards (see instructions and templates at The preferred average article length is approximately 8,000 words, excluding references. If you would like to discuss any aspect of this special issue, you may either contact the guest editors or the Editorial Office.