How Medical Tourism Revolutionizing the Global Healthcare Industry

Medical Tourism

Advancements in How Medical Tourism!

Medical tourism is the process of acquiring medical treatment from other countries. This is mostly done in cases where the medical treatment of the resident country is not advanced, or when other countries are offering quicker access to the essentials required for the medical procedure with the availability of superior quality medical devices, or where the cost of medical procedures are comparatively low. Some of the common medical services availed in medical tourism comprise cosmetic surgery, dental treatments, fertility treatment, and elective surgery.

The key benefits of Medical Tourism are:

  • Cost Benefit:

Since the medical costs are rising significantly in the developed economies like US, insurance companies and employers are focusing on medical tourism concept in order to lower these costs. The growing awareness of medical tourism across the globe due to the above mentioned factors is stimulating numerous countries to gain financial advantage. The main reason for hospitals and clinics in the emerging countries for lowering prices is directly connected to the country’s economic status. For example, medical tourism in India is growing considerably, especially due to low labor cost. Other countries for medical tourism include Malaysia, Thailand, Sri-Lanka, Singapore, and United Kingdom.

  • Quality Benefit:

The healthcare domain comprises two major service quality components – mechanical quality and technical quality and functional or serviceable quality. Technical equipment used in healthcare is the heart of the patient’s diagnosis, while the functional quality includes the services offered by various healthcare centers like staff service at hospitals, doctors’ outlook towards patients and assistants, and more. Hence, service quality in medical tourism is essential for customer attraction.

  • Various Types of Treatment:

As discussed earlier, medical tourism comprises various types of treatments, however the medical treatment may also vary from several essential treatments to various types of conventional and alternative treatment services. Another concept gaining popularity is the reproductive outsourcing or reproductive tourism, which means the practice of traveling overseas for engaging in services like in vitro fertilization, surrogate pregnancy, and other assisted reproductive techniques. Moreover, unavailability of technologically improved medical products or services is also another factor driving medical tourism. Stem cell therapy or cytoplasmic transfers are few examples.

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Since healthcare domain is speedily witnessing advancements, medical tourism is also expected to transform significantly with few improvements like Mobile Health, Electronic Health Records (EHR), Telemedicine, and medical databanks.

  • Mobile Health or mHealth:

Digitalization is growing speedily across the globe. Owing to this, and rise in numerous types of mobile applications, and social media, medical tourism apps are also easily gaining familiarity. Mobile applications like HelpingDoc, Lybrate, and online portal Fairmed are few examples which enable patients to access other doctors for second opinion. These applications also allow patients to compare and choose doctor, the hospitals, and treatment services across several countries, while fringe benefits like access visa services, hotel and flight booking, and translations.

  • Electronic Health Records (EHR):

Electronic health records help the physician to effectively manage a patient’s record. EHR includes cloud storage that helps the doctor to store clinical notes, medical administrator records, diagnostic scans, and discharge summaries and easily access the comprehensive records anytime. This cloud storage facility has also assisted in reducing patient costs.

  • Telemedicine:

Telemedicine is a technology that helps build doctor-patient relationship, at the consultation level initially. If helps the doctor to treat the patient from distances. The said technology considerably reduces treatment time, offers numerous options to the patient before deciding their travel destination.

  • Medical Databanks:

Enormous amount of medical data is generated every day. To control this and for easy management of digital healthcare databases, medical databanks are introduced. This helps the hospitals and stakeholders to easily access real-time data from the global repository. Physicians can also access the information on their smartphones via encrypted data and help patients with treatments.

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