A process perspective on platform design and management: evidence from a digital platform in health care


Multi-sided platforms have become the hallmark of the digital economy. However, their impact varies profoundly across different markets. We have done a longitudinal case study on HSPC, a platform jointly provided by a consortium led by multiple U.S. health care providers. Our focus is on the development processes of the platform over a period of five years and the underlying management decisions and design choices. We have developed a platform management framework to capture and reconstruct the influence and interdependencies of choices over time. The case highlights distinct strategic choices aiming at scaling of the platform and competitive positioning at an early stage of platform evolution. Our findings show four main conflicts regarding the implementation and scaling of the platform and its services as well as the processual interplay and interdependencies between different management areas. The paper thereby contributes to a process view on platform management and offers an understanding of specifics of platform evolution in health care.

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Fig. 1


  1. 1.

    Platforms with consumers as one customer segment and advertisers as the second (major) segment are quite particular cases of MSP as they partly violate the condition of direct interaction between the segments, for example the interaction of a Google search user with a company advertising on Google captures only a subset of searches. In most cases, the ads will be viewed as distraction or even a nuisance by the consumers who are searching for information.


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Fürstenau, D., Auschra, C., Klein, S. et al. A process perspective on platform design and management: evidence from a digital platform in health care. Electron Markets 29, 581–596 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12525-018-0323-4

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  • Digital health platforms
  • Technical architecture
  • Platform governance
  • Standardization
  • Process perspective

JEL classification

  • I1 & O3