After almost a year spent on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the global medical travel platform Brit-Med (owned by HexTransforma Healthcare) is set to re-launch. Originally released in 2018, the platform enables patients from anywhere in the world to research, compare and book their desired treatment or procedure at home or abroad.
The health tourism market is significant, but the process of finding and booking a medical procedure abroad is currently very complex, ambiguous and restricted by language barriers, poor promotion and accessibility to information for patients. The experience isn’t much better for healthcare providers; credibility at an international level is hard to gain and so is trust, making attracting international patients a difficult and costly task even for those with state of the art facilities.
Brit-Med removes these barriers; it provides a level playing field for all healthcare providers as well as a safer and easier patient experience, performing rigorous quality assessments of all clinics before accepting them as providers. Priding itself on self-service and price transparency, patients can search for elective procedures, then filter the results by region, country, ratings and price, and compare the different providers and doctors available. The platform also provides a video consultation feature to allow the clinician to determine the suitability of the patient to undergo the procedure, which is required before the booking can be made. Once approved, the patient can book the procedure directly through the platform at a date that works for them.
Thanks to its network of providers around the world, Brit-Med aims to be the first global marketplace for medical travel.
Commenting on the relaunch, Brit-Med CEO Jean-Luc Bressard stated: “Technology, human endeavour and resilience have safely guided the world and the health sector through the pandemic.
As the vaccine rollout continues, we expect to see travel corridors reopen. Patient safety and security have never been more important and pronounced, and we know that the Brit-Med platform will play a significant role in providing knowledge, efficiency, reassurance and reliability to patients who have been waiting more than 12 months for their elective surgeries.
During these incredibly difficult times, when our partners in the private health sector, airline industry, and leisure and tourism sectors have experienced fundamental shocks to their businesses, it is wonderful to finally see the green shoots coming through. We are optimistic about the opportunities and innovative partnerships we see being delivered through the ‘Technological spring’ and we are looking forward to seeing and working again with our partners in Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific.”
The health tourism market expansion came to a sharp halt as the pandemic swept across the globe and countries closed their borders to try and contain the spread of the virus. Prior to this, in 2019, the market was valued at US $44.8 billion and was predicted to boom at an annual growth rate of 21.1% from 2020 to 2027, with 21-26 million patients travelling abroad for medical reasons on average per year.
As a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, many medical facilitators have been forced to close their doors as the number of patients dried up and travel restrictions increased. Unsurprisingly, countries with healthcare systems built for medical tourism have suffered the most, with their economies sharply impacted by the reduced number of patients.
As vaccines roll out globally, there are signs that the market is on the road to recovery and that demand will be stronger than ever. The backlog of cancelled elective surgeries continues to grow and an increasing number of patients are looking at taking matters into their own hands where their health is concerned. Brit-Med can certainly count on the interest in international travel after months of lockdowns and various restrictions.
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