Skift Take

Getting medical care abroad is a growing trend fanning out across the world and destinations should know what their medical fortes are if they plan to be part of welcoming this rising wave of medical tourists.

seedlingsAs the cost of healthcare spirals upwards in the U.S., travelers seek medical procedures abroad that are cheaper and accompany a high standard of care.

Countries like Thailand are already famous for being medical tourism hubs for affordable surgeries and routine procedures from highly-qualified and world-renowned doctors. Americans, however, aren’t the only people looking beyond their borders for healthcare–recent inbound tourism spending data in the U.S. from the National Office of Travel and Tourism show international travelers visiting the U.S. spent 10% more on medical tourism expenses for the first half of 2015 compared to a year ago.

These five startups help travelers determine which destinations offer the best treatment and procedures for their personal healthcare and also help plan every aspect of the trip from flights to accommodations.

>>GapDoc connects travelers with accredited hospitals abroad for medical procedures. The startup helps with organizing all travel details and also gets travelers a quote for all procedures before departure.

SkiftTake: GapDoc only caters to medical tourism destinations in Asia, which limits its scope for those in Asia or elsewhere who may seek medical procedures in the U.S. or Europe, for example.

>>GloboMD is a marketplace for comparing a range of medical procedures abroad along with their costs. GlobMD will also help with accommodations and other concierge services while abroad.

SkiftTake: We like how GloboMD lists available accommodations and shows them on a map in relation to the locations of hospitals and medical clinics, showing travelers which options are most convenient for them.

>>Medigo is a marketplace for people to search, book, and arrange high quality medical treatment abroad. It connects travelers with a network of the best medical professionals in more than 300 clinics and 15 countries.

SkiftTake: Medigo segments each destination into a certain field of medicine, which narrows other types of procedures and healthcare that may be available in a particular city. Still, travelers get a sense of what’s going on with healthcare advancements in each country and Medigo brands each destination for what it’s widely known for which also has its strong suits.

>TraveDoc is an online doctor appointment scheduling service for people living abroad and traveling in a new country. TraveDoc lets travelers choose and schedule an appointment with a physician, dentist or specialist who speaks their language.

SkiftTake: Fear of not being able to communicate with doctors and other healthcare professionals is a major concern for most tourists and this causes them to avoid medical treatment abroad in many cases. Bridging the language barrier is much-needed and will go a long way to making tourists feel comfortable getting help where and when they need it without having to worry if they’ll be understood.

>GetTreated helps travelers with getting estimates for their medical procedures abroad and arranging their trip itinerary as well as having a team of medical professionals behind the scenes serving in advisor roles to the startup.

SkiftTake: Travelers want to know they’re using a service that medical professionals put their stamps of approval on, making GetTreated’s array of doctors on its advisor board a nice touch.

For all of our SkiftSeedlings coverage, check out our archives here.



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Tags: medical tourism, skiftseedlings, startups

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