Growth management of eHealth service start-ups

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Remote connection:

Topic of the dissertation

Growth management of eHealth service start-ups

Doctoral candidate

Master of Laws, Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration) Martti Saarela

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Technology, Industrial Engineering and Management

Subject of study

Industrial Engineering and Management


Professor Pekka Abrahamsson, University of Jyväskylä

Second opponent

Docent Ilkka Raatikainen, University of Vaasa


Professor Matti Muhos, University of Oulu

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Growth management of eHealth service start-ups

Healthcare and the well-being of populations are critical economic considerations. Increased healthcare service demand and the economic challenges faced by healthcare systems have recently intensified the need for effective, scalable, and innovative health services. Integration of digital technology into health services, known as eHealth, is an emerging and fast-growing area, which has been viewed as a key response to increased requirements of healthcare systems and services.

Start-ups have organizational agility, promising ideas, the willingness to take risks, and the tendency toward growth that make them pioneers of innovation. EHealth service start-ups create digital solutions to meet the needs, complement traditional services, and even create new markets in the areas of healthcare and well-being.

As the start-up stage is the critical period for a new company’s survival and growth, growth management is of central importance. However, the current understanding of growth management in eHealth service start-ups is incomplete.

The aim of this study was to clarify the growth management of eHealth service start-ups. This multiple-case study used the critical incident technique in data collection, and the data were gathered from Finland, Sweden, and the United States.

The study revealed twelve characteristics of eHealth service business during the start-up stage which contribute to the understanding of growth management in eHealth service start-ups. Slow growth and extreme uncertainty were found to be key characteristics and the results of the other revealed characteristics

The characteristics of eHealth service start-ups determined by this study should be taken into account in growth management. The results of this study may be used to predict managerial challenges and to help managers to focus their attention on critical issues, which may lead to risk reduction during the start-up stage.
Last updated: 1.3.2023