What is creating a business model?

The value map that was developed is part of a business model. A business model can be defined as ‘the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value’ [1]. It is essential during the entire eHealth development process since it guides the implementation processes and clarifies the costs and benefits (values) for stakeholders. Because the development team has to account for implementation from the start, the creation of the business model should also start at the beginning of the development process, and not merely during the implementation itself. The early development of a business model enables the development team to identify matters that might come up during implementation before the actual implementation in practice has started. In this way, information from the model can be used to account for possible pitfalls. A frequently used method to create a business model is the business model canvas [1], which consists of several building blocks.

What is the aim of creating a business model?

The creation of a business model is an iterative research process, so open-ended ideas can gradually become more substantiated during the development process. Also, ideas can be discarded or rigorously changed along the way. Multiple methods should be used to create the business model, and information from the contextual inquiry and value specification is used to make sure that the business model matches the entire development process, the context, and its stakeholders. Since a business model is more of a generic overview instead of a set of predetermined methods, the way it is filled in depends on the skills and preferences of the development team. But independent of the methods being used, it is always essential to carefully describe and document the process and rationale behind the filled in business model [2].


[1] Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2010). Business model generation: A handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers: Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

[2] Van Limburg, M., Wentzel, J., Sanderman, R., & van Gemert-Pijnen, L. (2015). Business Modeling to Implement an eHealth Portal for Infection Control: A Reflection on Co-Creation With Stakeholders. JMIR Research Protocol, 4(3):e104.