Hybrid Medical Tourism Experience is the Future Post-COVID
COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be fatal for the medical tourism industry. With restrictions imposed on international travel, lockdown situations in the countries, categorizing elective surgeries as non-essential treatments and most importantly fear in people’s minds has taken a toll in the medical travel sector. However, what matters now is how to evolve. The solution lies in post-COVID medical innovations and technology is the key influencer in transforming medical practice.
Innovation Driven by Technology
The current process to acquire international patients is complex and outdated. Healthcare providers must analyze what is going to work and what is not in the post-COVID era. A new hybrid system using various technologies must be fully integrated where most of the key actions before the patients’ visit, during the treatment and aftercare can be done online. This is where PlacidWay can help by unleashing the power of digital medical practice. As the new patient engagement will be driven by technology, PlacidWay’s innovative digital solutions will expand throughout the entire cycle of Education and Marketing, Patient Acquisition, Patient Treatment and Aftercare.
The Problems of Current Patient Journey in Medical Tourism
The current patient journey in medical travel is complex and not relevant. It requires a patient to research for solutions on the provider’s website, enter personal information and generate a request. The provider assesses the request, send quotes and treatment options, which is again evaluated by the patient before they travel to the center for treatment. In the current global situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this process is not completely relevant and time-consuming. At the same time, there is a lack of transparency and technology integration.
Hybrid Experience in Medical Tourism will be the New Normal
To overcome the problems and drawbacks of the current patient journey, healthcare providers must re-imagine the entire scenario of patient and provider actions. That is why PlacidWay has innovated hybrid medical tourism solution, which lies on the four pillars:
- Marketing & Education
- Online Consultation
Marketing & Education
As a healthcare provider, you should focus on marketing and education by helping patients gain proper knowledge about the possible treatment solutions and how personalized care can be provided continuously. At PlacidWay, we are helping customers shift to the online continuum of care. This helps create complete knowledge management and persona-based care. We are helping customers to explore the power of digital health in medical marketing and education with various solutions such as:
- Video chat
- Video marketing
- Email marketing
- Online communities
- Engaging case studies
- Educational articles/blogs
- Attractive center/doctor profiles
- Treatment packages
- Content management system
- Content distribution
- Persona marketing
- Knowledge management, and more
Coronavirus pandemic has imposed restrictions and fear of traveling abroad, which will take time to normalize. However, this does not mean a patient has to wait till things get back to normal and then communicate with a treatment provider abroad. PlacidWay’s innovative online consultation and second opinion let the patients to directly communicate with the doctor abroad and get the required guidance. The patient gets the benefit of consulting the expert without traveling abroad and thus saving time and money while building brand loyalty. Thus, the providers can use this solution as a value-added service against a certain cost and gain tangible results.
Treatment - Safety, Transparency and Trust
Providers must also be very transparent on how the treatment will take place in the international destination when the restrictions will be lifted. They have to explain the safety parameters so that patients don’t feel any risk of getting infected with coronavirus or other issues during their treatment abroad.
If a patient needs immediate medical intervention, the provider can even recommend a local partner so that the patient doesn’t have to wait until things are suitable to travel abroad for treatment. They can visit the recommended local partner and get the required treatment or guidance for the time being. This also establishes trust among the patient and provider, which can lead to a long-term relationship.
Aftercare is another essential part of the entire medical travel cycle and this also needs to be provided using technology like online video consultation. Using PlacidWay’s online video consultation program, providers can guide the patients on how they should maintain the right lifestyle or how they are following the advice post-treatment. This helps the providers to establish a continuum of care and they can also generate income by charging a certain price for such aftercare services.
Advantages of Hybrid Medical Tourism System
Crisis always leads to innovation and technology is the key influencer in transforming medical practice. PlacidWay’s Omni-channel communications technologies make way for transparent communications that drive innovations in the medical industry. These key technologies include Email Messages, Smart Online Chatbots, Video Consultation for digital face-to-face impact, SMS Messaging for notifications and reminders, traditional Phone Call and Analytics & Business Intelligence for improved business and engagement. The hybrid medical tourism experience makes the best use of these Omni-channel communication technologies and that is why by using these you can gain benefits like:
- Better patient transparency and trust
- Improve patient communications
- Lower patient acquisition cost
- Optimize patient acquisition process
- Improve the quality of patient care
- Reduce miscommunications
- Reduce cost with digital marketing and coordination
- Increase income by improving your capacity and efficiency
- Gain a competitive advantage by modernizing the patient experience
- Introduce new products and services faster
- Explore market scalability
- Opportunity to grow business beyond current operations
- Post-care/continuum of care
COVID-19 outbreak is a global crisis that has affected every sector including the medical tourism industry. Marketers have to figure out how to communicate with consumers in a new way. As people practice social distancing, they are more reliant on communications via digital modes. Healthcare providers need to think of innovative digital channels to communicate with patien ts. PlacidWay’s hybrid medical tourism experience can fill this gap by focusing on marketing and education, patient journey and new solutions along with technology and consulting. As the industry leader in digital convergence, PlacidWay invites healthcare providers to join the medical tourism digital health innovation by going hybrid and promoting process transparency and direct patient-provider interaction.
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