Transforming communities of practice through a virtual ‘Health Village’

Tricia Cleland Silva, Virpi Sorsa, Salla Hyytiäinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Digital technologies are considered vital to transform the quality and accessibility of health care services (WHO, 2019), and, as tested by the COVID-19 global pandemic, opportunistic solutions to overwhelmed providers and systems (Willems et al, 2021). This study explores the proactive co-creation of online specialised health care services through a digital platform called the ‘Health Village’ before the reactive historial period of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the ‘Health Village’ is to connect the needs of the users with an interactive virtual environment. In our research, we interviewed and observed the actors, including both health care and IT experts as well as patients, involved in creating online content for the ‘Health Village’ between the years 2018-2019. We subsequently analysed, with the method Situational Analysis (Clarke 2005), the importance of voluntary and “proactive” motivation of the participating members; the role played by leaders and facilitators; and the provision of appropriate ICT infrastructure in their work. We discovered that although the intended strategy was to create content for the ‘Health Village’, the situated activity of building a digital platform empowered the actors to transform their communities of practices into extended, interacting social worlds with actors not considered previously apart of their community of practice. In the end, the digital platform transformed the practitioners’ work to enable a more inclusive community of practices of various actors from different social worlds.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalpuntOorg International Journal
Number of pages30
Publication statusSubmitted - 12.2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Responsible organising


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