Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Management Studies | International Design Business Management (IDBM) | 2015
Thesis number: 14345
3D printing as an enabler for service business design in the digitizing healthcare
|Title:||3D printing as an enabler for service business design in the digitizing healthcare|
|Year:||2015 Language: eng|
|Department:||Department of Management Studies|
|Academic subject:||International Design Business Management (IDBM)|
|Index terms:||palvelut; service; palvelumuotoilu; service design; terveydenhuolto; health services; digitaalitekniikka; digital technology; innovaatiot; innovations; valmistus; manufacturing|
|Key terms:||3D printing; business models; healthcare; services; strategy; digitalization; innovation; service design|
As a fast and ductile process, 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) is increasingly becoming more utilized method in manufacturing and service production. Despite the on-going 3D printing hype, recent breakthroughs set also high future expectations. Continuously digitizing healthcare industry offers an interesting and fertile ground to explore this opportunity further, and provide strategic value for Finnish healthcare service providers. How this emerging technology affects in healthcare service providers' business models has yet remained unexplored, and offers a great research gap for further study.
The objective of this study is to understand how 3D printing impacts currently on service business models - specifically in healthcare sector. The objective is also to find out how Finnish healthcare service providers can exploit 3D printing as a part of their strategic business modeling now and in the future.
A theoretical framework applies existing theories in 3D printing, business models and strategy. This framework enables empirical research, exploring the impacts of 3D printing in business models. The qualitative research uses both primary and secondary data, including semi-structured interviews, observations during company visits, as well as literature sources news articles, industry reviews and company websites.
The results indicate that currently 3D printing impacts on business model components in general level as well as specifically in healthcare industry. To manage 3D printing successfully in the business model, high importance is given especially to additive manufacturing knowledge as well as to multidisciplinary collaboration.
Based on findings, a seven-step model is suggested for Finnish healthcare service providers to explore and implement 3D printing as part of their capabilities. The model highlights the need for close collaboration between involved stakeholders in order to implement 3D printing as part of strategic business design efficiently and successfully. Finally, in the analysis, three main areas for additive manufacturing breakthroughs are emphasized and discussed. Namely software, materials, as well as health-tech and devices that not only improve but also transform service providers' processes seem to have currently great potential for future healthcare service business models.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.