The Tilburg University in the Netherlands has initiated a research project called TIME, which gives selected students a chance to do market research in a foreign country as part of their studies. The chosen country for 2015 was Taiwan. Minddistrict sponsors TIME, which involves that one of the students each year conducts market research on the topic of ehealth. Therefore, in November 2015, a student at the Tilburg University travelled to Taiwan to conduct market research on ehealth.
The student was 24-year old Erik Melis, who's attending the master program Marketing Management. In the following blog, he reports on the first stages of the project and his trip to Taiwan.
Erik's story: conducting ehealth market research in Taiwan
“Before I travelled to Taiwan’s capital city Taipei and the city of Kaohshiung, I did preliminary research. The results showed that there is potential for Minddistrict’s services in Taiwan. For example, the usage of mobile technology is relatively high among Taiwanese citizens. Moreover, ehealth would suit the healthcare system and its conditions. Citizens are required to pay only a small monthly fee and are then allowed to visit every health provider without referral.
When I had gathered enough information to form a stable basis, I went to Taiwan to conduct the actual market research for Minddistrict. My main research questions about the Taiwanese mental healthcare market were:
- What is the current internet and mobile technology usage among Taiwanese citizens?
- How does the mental healthcare system in Taiwan work?
- What are potential business partners in Taiwan?
To answer these questions, I visited several organisations. For example, hospitals (both public and private), psychotherapy clinics, medical universities and governmental bodies. In conversations with professors, psychiatrists and mangers, I was able to formulate answers to the questions above, from different points of view and perspectives.
One of the visits I made was with the private Far Eastern Memorial Hospital. There, I spoke with several psychiatrists. They explained Taiwan’s mental healthcare system to me in detail. But the most interesting part was that they directly understood the meaning and purpose of Minddistrict’s platform when I explained it to them. Together, we discussed how Taiwanese healthcare, and healthcare in general, could benefit from online therapy.
The trip to Taiwan has ended: now is the time for me to gather all the data and information and finish my research. In a few weeks’ time, I will share my results with Minddistrict. In the meantime, I’m looking back on a very interesting and insightful trip that has resulted in at least some new ehealth enthusiasts."