Wellness, travel, and tourism are all intertwined in the healthcare business. Healthcare is a multibillion-dollar industry. Medical tourists have been flocking to other countries to cure a wide range of illnesses in quest of complete healthcare treatments. The health tourism sector has expanded to include well-being improvement and leisure travel.
Globally, medical technology advances have significantly improved treatment affordability, accessibility, and reliability. Mobile devices, such as wearables and digital sensors, remote patient monitoring, and virtual rehabilitation have made it possible for healthcare data to be securely stored and easily accessed through biotelemetry and other mobile health technology.
Causes of Development
A variety of variables drive medical tourism. Among the most prominent are:
- A growing aging population
- Degenerative illnesses are on the rise
- It’s a lack of access to high-quality healthcare
- Costs of healthcare are increasing
- There are long waits
- Traveling convenience
As recently as a decade ago, discussing medical tourism in a serious debate about healthcare would likely result in a blank face or maybe a giggle. The initial responses have vanished today, replaced with things like “Oh, I saw that on the news the other day” or “My coworker just got back from Mexico where she had cheap dental care.”
Medical Tourism Has Become A Mainstream Industry
Many people are arranging for medical trips, having procedures or treatments done outside their nation, and coming home after visiting a medical facility in another country. What’s different now?
- Quick and easy access to data over the internet
- more visibility in the media
Patients are increasingly being sent overseas for treatment by governments, businesses, and insurance companies. Technology allows physicians to keep tabs on their patients’ vital signs from afar or have an online consultation with someone who lives on the other side of the country. The rise of private enterprises, especially foreign corporations that provide health services and insurance plans.
The Medical Tourism Association (MTA) formation in 2007 was a significant milestone in the industry’s continued expansion and professionalization.
The Task At Hand
Since its inception, the worldwide medical tourism business has grown at a CAGR of 12.8% to reach USD 274.37 billion by 2027. Because nations closed their borders and enforced travel restrictions in response to the emergence of COVID-19, it had a detrimental influence on market growth. Many obstacles to the healthcare sector were posed by COVID-19, including a lack of supplies, vaccines, medications, and masks, as well as a lack of healthcare workers. Patients’ need for care has skyrocketed due to the outbreak, and hospitals are already at capacity.
Adaptation To COVID-19 Rules In The Medical Value Travel Industry
- Taking safety measures
GHA (Global Healthcare Accreditation) prescribes guidelines for hospital visits, flights, hotel stays, and other forms of transportation to reassure patients about potential risks. From the minute patients walk off the aircraft until they return to their home countries after treatment, processes, and conventions are established. The best screening and testing procedures have emerged. Patients will be better protected if visitors are restricted, personal protective equipment is available, and improved cleaning processes are.
- Telemedicine in the Wake of COVID-19
It is a novel strategy becoming a part of the healthcare infrastructure that allows doctors to examine, diagnose, and treat patients remotely. It’s now possible to provide patients with remote healthcare while they’re still in the exact location, thanks to the advent of IT and the proliferation of smart gadgets. Thanks to software and technological communication, patients may get treatments through secure video and voice links.
- Medical and technological travel
Some technological improvements include touch-free travel, decreased hospital stays, enhanced record keeping, and faster recovery time. Telehealth service providers are now extending their platforms to serve patients across borders better.
- Hospitals and hospitality companies collaborate to develop new products and services
One of the essential pieces of growth in the tourist business involves hotel collaborations with wellness programs. Transportation, lodging, and meal service are only a few of the necessities that patients and their companions face while seeking medical care in another country. Patients must be discharged from the hospital as quickly as possible due to financial constraints, necessitating hotel partnerships that provide nearby accommodations at a reasonable cost.
Accommodations for patients and their companions, insurance provider relationships, and transportation facilitators are all ideally located. First aid training, infrastructure installations, and benchmarking may help the healthcare and hospitality industries see more prospects than ever before.
Numerous possibilities abound for those in the medical travel sector. Despite this, several difficulties must be considered and addressed, including the need for substantial funding, community involvement and training, management systems, legal concerns, and standardization.