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Telemed J E Health. 2011 Jul-Aug;17(6):442-51. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2010.0201. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Service design attributes affecting diabetic patient preferences of telemedicine in South Korea.

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Technology Management, Economics and Policy Graduate Program, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



Attempts to introduce telemedicine in South Korea have failed mostly, leaving critical questions for service developers and providers about whether patients would be willing to pay for the service and how the service should be designed to encourage patient buy-in. In this study, we explore patients' valuations and preferences for each attribute of telemedicine service for diabetes management and evaluate patient willingness to pay for specific service attributes.


We conducted a conjoint survey to collect data on patients' stated preferences among telemedicine service alternatives. The alternatives for diabetes-related service differed in 10 attributes, including those related to price, type of service provider, and service scope. To estimate the relative importance of attributes, patients' willingness to pay for each attribute, and their probable choice of specific alternatives, we used a rank-ordered logit model. A total of 118 respondents participated in the survey.


All 10 attributes significantly affected patients' valuations and preferences, and demographic and disease characteristics, such as existence of complications and comorbidities, significantly affected patients' valuations of the attributes. Price was the most important attribute, followed by comprehensive scope of service, the availability of mobile phone-based delivery, and large general-hospital provided services.


The study findings have significant implications for adoption policy and strategy of telemedicine in diabetes management care. Further, the methodology presented in this study can be used to draw knowledge needed to formulate effective policy for adoption of the necessary technology and for the design of services that attract potential beneficiaries.

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