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Original Article

The Use of Digital Healthcare Platforms During the COVID-19 Pandemic: the Consumer Perspective

Fawaz Alharbi.

Background: The spending on digital healthcare solutions is estimated to reach EUR 232 billion by 2025. Digital healthcare platforms are making transformative changes to conventional healthcare processes which can provide many beneficial improvements for both citizen and government provision to society. These benefits are obvious during pandemics such as Covid-19, when most healthcare services are offered through digital means. Objective: The objective of this study is to measure the role of trust and information quality when using digital healthcare platforms. These constructs are integrated with the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) to provide a better understanding of the consumer perspective regarding the use of digital healthcare platforms. Methods: Online structured self-administered questionnaire was utilized to collect the data. A sample consisting of 249 respondents participated in the questionnaire. Descriptive analysis was used to characterize the attributes of participants, and other statistical tests were conducted to ensure the reliability and validity of the survey. The model of the study was evaluated using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) to explain the extent of the relationship among latent variables. Results: The study determined that facilitating conditions (t=0.233, p=0.023) and trust (t=0.324, p=0.005) had a significant impact on consumers’ behavioral intention of using such platforms during Covid-19 pandemic. Conclusion: This study highlighted the importance of facilitating conditions and trust factors for healthcare consumers of digital healthcare platforms especially during the pandemic time.

Key words: Digital healthcare platforms; E-health; Consumer Health informatics, Trust, Saudi Arabia.

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