Aug 5, 2021

How is Digital Tech Reshaping the Industry?- Health Travel



Since ancient times, people have been traveling all over the world in order to seek medical tourism. The idea of roving long distances for health reasons is nothing new. However, it has developed and revolutionized with time with the help of medical travel agency and modern technology.

The demand for patients at affordable destinations has drastically increased in the past. People seek cheaper and faster access to healthcare than they would get in their home countries. Some of the top destinations lie across Europe and Asia including the countries such as Germany, Switzerland, France, Bahrain, Turkey, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, etc. This type of tourism boosts the country’s economy as well. Cost-effectiveness, short waiting lists, and good quality of medical access attract tourists to the country.

This industry is on the boom for some time now. According to a report by Patients Beyond Border, the market is worth between $65bn and $87.5bn and is continuously growing at an annual rate of 15%-25%. The most in-demand procedures which people look for abroad are cosmetic related surgeries and cancer treatment. Seeing this incessant rise, government health and tourism ministries of countries are seriously focusing to work on this industry.

It is no wonder to say that this surge has been massively supported by modern technology. The rise of digital media and technology has brought ease in communication across the globe in different forms. It has definitely streamlined the traveling experience. There are many more factors that have transformed the industry and made medical tourism a feasible option for patients.

The introduction of Telehealth or Telemedicine has rumbled the market. It has eradicated the communication gaps between doctors and patients sitting anywhere in the world. You can contact your doctor for care, advice, reminders, education, monitoring through electronic technologies such as phone calls, emails, and even video calls. The concept of examining the patient online and providing medical assistance has become very popular in the recent past since the novel coronavirus has spread over the world.

India has introduced a tele-diagnostic and tele-radiology programme which allows international doctors and patients to request virtual diagnoses, eliminating the need to travel physically.

Moreover, the industry is aiming to bring new possibilities using the 5G network deployment in the future, especially in the field of surgery. For a test run, a telecom company named Telefonica demonstrated a surgery that took place at Quirónsalud Málaga Hospital with the help of a surgeon at Osaka Hospital, miles away in Japan, through augmented reality-enabled live assistance, powered by 5G.

Sharing patients’ electronic health records (EHRs) with doctors is also a major factor behind people’s desirability towards medical tourism. It keeps the patients’ data private but due to some political rivalry, some countries are reluctant to share data with international rivals. But the data can also be shared if there is an introduction of a cloud-based software where the patient could just share his medical record with the doctors abroad without giving it to any third party. It can be done simply through smartphones.



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