Patterns of collaboration in mHealth: A network analysis

Giovanna Capponi, Nicoletta Corrocher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The use of mobile phones offers unique opportunities for information exchange and service provision within healthcare. Yet mHealth has historically been dominated by small scale, isolated initiatives. The main obstacle to scaling up mHealth projects is a lack of evidence on their performance, preventing the projects from receiving additional funding and limiting the scope for the development of best practices. In this context, an interesting potential form of successful innovation is the emergence of public-private networks. Despite sector fragmentation, there exists a network of public and private actors that could serve as a vehicle for knowledge sharing which is worth being examined. Through analysis of a sample of 196 projects involving 384 organizations, this study investigates patterns of collaboration within the mHealth ecosystem to capture the main trends in the structure and scope of the partnerships and examines the variables associated to project survival. Results show that projects implemented by at least one local partner are more likely to survive, as well as projects that involve a set of diverse (for-profit and not-for profit) organizations. Furthermore, the initiatives targeting communicable diseases, which are typically implemented in lower-income economies, are less likely to succeed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number121366
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Mobile health
  • Public-private networks
  • Social network analysis


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