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© 2014 Medical Travel Today

Medical Travel Today is a publication of CPR Strategic Marketing Communications, a public relations firm based near New York City that specializes in healthcare and life sciences, with an international clientele. CPR, its Partners, and clients are at the nexus of where medical travel is today, and where it will be tomorrow.

Laura Carabello

Laura Carabello

Managing Editor
Megan Kennedy

Table of Contents

From the Editor

From the Editor: This week in Medical Travel Today, Laura Carabello

News in Review

Over 10,000 Nigerian Doctors in U.S.

Colombia Boasts High Ratings for Private Hospitals in Bid to Attract Medical Tourists

DHA Rolls Out Medical Tourism Packages

Pharaon: Lebanon Remains One of Top Medical Tourism Destinations

Israel Ranks High As a Medical Tourism Destination

Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) To Hold Its First Medical Tourism Festival In The UAE.

Spotlight Interview

Prof. S. Yunkap Kwankam, Ph.D., CEO at Global eHealth Consultants (GeHCs) and Executive Director, International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH)

Industry News

Medicare to Drive Australian Healthcare Industry Value to US$42.5 Billion by 2020, says GlobalData

India Medical Tourism & Forecast

Tour Choice Launches Medical Tourism Packages In Phuket, Thailand

Global Spa & Wellness Summit Study: $3.4 Trillion Global Wellness Market is Now Three Times Larger Than Worldwide Pharmaceutical Industry

Fourth Annual Innovation Centers Summit Workshop to be held November 17-18, 2014 at the new Innovation Lab in Newport Beach, California

How to Find a Doctor While Traveling Abroad

Help Save a Life and Support MatchingDonors

Upcoming Events

Medical Asia

Mexico: Summit on Medical Tourism & Wellness Business

IHC Forum West 2014

International India Medical Tourism Conference - Confluence 2014

Arab Health Exhibition & Congress

International Health Tourism Conference

Kuwait Medical Tourism Conference & Exhibition

Moscow Medical and Health Tourism Congress

Medical Fair India

12th Annual World Health Care Congress 2015

2nd Istanbul Medical, Health, Geriatrics, Termal, Spa & Wellness Tourism Fair & Congress

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Volume 8, Issue 7

Dear Colleagues:

What is telehealth?
According to Health Resources and Services Administration, telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical healthcare, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.

Does telehealth fit into the medical travel space?
We asked global medicine expert Prof. S. Yunkap Kwankam, Ph.D., his thoughts on the connection between telehealth and medical travel, and he explains:

"The fundamental driver of medical travel is that the quality or type of expertise that medical tourists are seeking is not available locally, which is why individuals choose to travel to different locations for accessible treatment.  This is a classic characteristic of why telemedicine is necessary."

As we continue to hear about a rapid spread of the deadly Ebola virus throughout Africa, and now its infiltration into the United States, individuals worldwide are expressing great concern about their health and safety.

To take a brief survey about the threat of contracting Ebola and the decision to pursue a medical travel option, please click here.

With the growing interest in medical/surgical travel options, we'd like to hear from your provider organization - ACO, health/hospital system, free standing surgi-center, community hospital - why you believe that your facility or organization is a Center of Excellence that can serve the needs of employers and payers throughout the United States. 

What distinguishes your service offering in terms of cost, patient experience and satisfaction, outcomes, or other quality indicators?  Send us your descriptor, including photos or charts, and we will evaluate for publication in this newsletter.

Please be in touch and let me know how you are surviving and thriving in this emerging marketplace. 

Laura Carabello
Editor and Publisher
Medical Travel Today

Global Health Voyager

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SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW: Prof. S. Yunkap Kwankam, Ph.D., CEO at Global eHealth Consultants (GeHCs) and Executive Director, International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH)



About S. Yunkap Kwankam, Ph.D.
S. Yunkap Kwankam holds a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering, and was elected to the following American honor associations; Eta Kappa Nu (Electrical Engineering), Tau Beta Pi (Engineering) and Sigma Xi (Research). He is CEO of Global eHealth Consultants (GeHCs), Geneva Switzerland, a leading consultancy group oneHealth policy and strategy. He serves as executive director of the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH), and is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Digital Health. From 2004 through August 2008 he was eHealth coordinator at World Health Organization (WHO), responsible for overall coordination of eHealth work across the Organization. Before joining WHO in 2001, he was professor and director, Center for Health Technology, University of Yaounde, Cameroon.

International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH) . He has also published two commissioned books, numerous scientific papers and technical reports.

Partial list of S. Yunkap Kwankam, Ph.D., in the media

mHealth Mobile Minute, mHealth Summit, Cape Town, South Africa, May-June 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCxIh4FOppk

Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio series on eHealth, July-August, 2008, A Seismic Shift, http://www.ehealth-connection.org/content/a-seismic-shift

Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio series on eHealth, July-August, 2008, eHealth and Distance Learning, http://www.ehealth-connection.org/content/ehealth-and-distance-learning

World Radio Switzerland (WRS) interview on Business Insights program "Rethinking health care across the globe." Host Pete Forster looks at the ailing global healthcare systems and talks to an expert, Prof. Yunkap Kwankam, director of Global eHealth Consultants, who believes that by applying existing technology differently, health services in developing countries can be radically improved: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 http://worldradio.ch/wrs/programmes/businessinsight/business-insight-rethinking-health-care-across-the.shtml?30667

About Global eHealth Consultants (GeHCs)
GeHCs was founded in 2008 by Prof. S. Yunkap Kwankam (B.Sc, M.Sc, Ph.D electrical engineering) in Chavannes-de-Bogis, Switzerland, close to Geneva and the WHO, the main institution in international eHealth.

GeHCs is a consulting organization that specializes in mHealth and eHealth (m-eHealth) services in the policy and practice areas in international markets. Its mission is to provide its clients with a high-quality alternative to in-house resources for development of policy and strategic plans, building institutional capacity for m-eHealth, as well as providing market research for m-eHealth development, with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries.

About International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH)
ISfTeH facilitates the international dissemination of knowledge and experience in Telemedicine and eHealth and provides access to recognized experts in the field worldwide.

Medical Travel Today (MTT): Describe your professional background and explain how you founded Global eHealth Consultants (GeHCs).

S. Yunkap Kwankam (YK): Professionally, I like to say I am in my fourth career now!

During my first career, I was an engineer and had the opportunity to work for General Electric in Cleveland, Ohio, Polaroid in Boston, and Digital Equipment at Maynard in Massachusetts.

My second career was in academics -- I taught electrical engineering, first at Northeastern University in Boston, then at the University of Yaounde in Cameroon (my home country). At this time, I discovered my real passion: incorporating technology to address health challenges. I founded a center for health technology at the University, with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, and in collaboration with the British Columbia Institute of Technology - the School of Health Sciences.

In 2001, I started my third career when I was invited by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, to do health technology on a global scale.

In December of 2003, WHO created a new division on eHealth, which I was in charge of until I retired in August 2008.

Retirement led to my fourth career-founder of Global eHealth Consultants (GeHCs), a small organization initiated in October 2008.

GeHCs serves as a knowledgeable source of advice for institutions who do not want to invest in house resources to develop policy and strategy in the area of telemedicine and m-eHealth.

Essentially, GeHCs provides policy and strategy support to international agencies, countries and organizations.

In terms of permanent staff, the organization has approximately 2.5 full time equivalents, but we have a pool of consultants worldwide that we connect with when necessary.

I am also the executive director of the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH), which is comprised of 43 national professional society members, as well as associates from an additional 40+ countries.

With a footprint in 80+ countries, our priority is to facilitate the international dissemination of knowledge and expertise in telemedicine and eHealth, and to provide access to experts in the field worldwide.

ISfTeH is structured in a very traditional way. Not only do we hold a fixed annual event each April in Luxemburg called Med-e-Tel, but we also hold annual global conferences on telemedicine and eHealth, which moves around six continents.

Two years ago, our annual event was in Nigeria, last year the event was in Japan, this year it will be in France and next year the event will take place in Brazil.

MTT: How do you see telehealth fitting into the medical travel space?

YK: I believe the fundamental driver of medical travel is that the quality or type of expertise that medical tourists are seeking is not available locally, which is why individuals choose to travel to different locations for accessible treatment. This is a classic characteristic of why telemedicine is necessary.

Telemedicine eliminates the inconvenience of travel, at least initially, and brings the care and expertise directly to the patient.

MTT: If an individual is planning to travel for care, how can telehealth streamline the process pre, during and post treatment?

YK: In terms of pre-travel, telemedicine can be especially helpful.

Patients can look into a number of aspects including:

  • The environment he/she is traveling to
  • Prevailing medical conditions that he/she needs to consider
  • Public health stats at the location he/she is traveling to

Also, the use of the Internet, social media and other forms of information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled health communications, can provide a tremendous amount of information regarding any public health risks specific to the desired location.

MTT: When engaging in telehealth, what would you consider ideal in terms of patient communication with a doctor or hospital?

YK: If a patient is traveling abroad for treatment, communication and medical records are absolutely necessary.

Medical records should be readily available and sent to providers in an electronic format, and ideally should be compatible with the record-keeping in the designated location of travel.

MTT: How about the diagnostics prior to travel -- does this present a realistic opportunity for transferring information?

YK: Absolutely, it's quite within reach.

Actually, in Switzerland there is a company called Medgate which provides strictly phone-based telemedicine. For example, patients seeking dermatological procedures are now able to send high quality pictures through cell phones, and experts at Medgate will interpret them and make a diagnosis based on the images and voice or Internet communication with patients.

Pictures that are available in an electronic format are not only more accessible for patients and providers, but also instrumental to telehealth facilities.

MTT: Can you describe the communication between a treating doctor in a foreign destination and the originating doctor in the home country?

YK: Communication between doctors is classic in telemedicine. A home-based clinician will contact a foreign clinician, either because the foreign provider has expertise which can be brought to the case, or because that provider has information that is not available to the treating clinician.

Medical tourism fits nicely into the telehealth paradigm in the sense that the foreign physician needs the patient's medical history and important case insight.

The initial consultation between providers builds the framework of telehealth.

MTT: How does follow-up treatment work?

YK: When a patient returns to their home country, they will either return to another healthcare facility, or to their personal home. In either case, full documentation, in paper or preferably electronic format, is required for clear communication between the different locations.

MTT: What is the realistic assessment of telehealth capabilities in various parts of the world?

YK: There are a limited number of countries that have the infrastructure to provide adequate bandwidth, reliable power and the proper environment for elite telehealth activities such as videoconferencing.

But if we look at telemedicine and telehealth in terms of providing health at a distance, the most important aspects are distance support and communication, which can be as simple as a phone call.

In that sense, the basic elements for a telehealth communication link are available in just about every location in the world.

MTT: Do you see telehealth expanding in the future?

YK: Absolutely. I see telehealth expanding throughout the world, in industrialized countries as well as developing countries.

Telehomecare is expanding in industrialized countries because the demographics are becoming clearer. Individuals are living longer with chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc. The cost of care to support these patients is astronomical, so taking care of people in their homes from a distance is a very attractive option.

In low and middle income countries, healthcare drivers have more to do with the growth of market penetration and the diffusion of cell phone technology into the remotest parts of rural areas. Health is beginning to leverage the availability of this technology to provide basic care services - ranging from reaching community health workers with protocols for managing certain diseases to reaching patients through text messages.

The one caveat with all of this is that healthcare is produced by many different sectors.

Traditional healthcare strictly deals with curing patients, but to improve the health system as a whole, prevention, protection AND overall patient care needs to be considered.

Industry News

Medicare to Drive Australian Healthcare Industry Value to US$42.5 Billion by 2020, says GlobalData

  • Australia's pharmaceutical sector to grow from US$22.7 billion in 2013 to US$32.1 billion by 2020
  • However, generic substitution by pharmacists has had a negative impact on pharmaceutical market growth, says report

Australia's healthcare market is set to grow to an impressive US$42.5 billion by 2020, driven by universal healthcare coverage provided by Medicare and good access to facilities such as government-subsidized medicines, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company's latest report* states that Australia's pharmaceutical sector was valued at US$22.7 billion in 2013, and will increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.1 percent to US$32.1 billion by 2020. The country's medical devices market will expand at a slightly slower CAGR of 4.9 percent to reach an estimated US$10.4 billion by the end of the forecast period.

Joshua Owide, GlobalData's director of Healthcare Industry Dynamics, says: "Medicare, which is Australia's public health insurance scheme, provides free or subsidized healthcare services to the Australian population. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) component of Medicare provides access to a wide range of necessary and cost-effective prescription medicines.
"Other major factors driving growth in Australia's pharmaceuticals market include the increasing elderly population and its associated disease burden, along with well-defined regulatory guidelines and the rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases due to an increasingly sedentary way of life."

However, Owide notes that market growth has been restricted by a rise in generic substitution and cost-cutting measures adopted by the Australian government.

He explains: "Universal access, and the fact that most blockbuster drugs are covered by the PBS, has resulted in increasing government healthcare expenditure and subsequent price cuts. PBS statistics show that the government has reduced the prices of PBS-listed medicines eight times since 2012, by percentages ranging from 1 percent to 90 percent.

"The 16 percent drug price reductions implemented in April this year represent a loss for pharmaceutical companies, while generic substitution by pharmacists has been permitted since 1994 and has had a negative impact on pharmaceutical market growth."

*CountryFocus: Healthcare, Regulatory and Reimbursement Landscape - Australia


This report provides information on the healthcare landscape in Australia, including an overview of the pharmaceutical and medical device markets, comprising market size, segmentation, and key drivers and barriers. It also provides a review of the reimbursement and regulatory landscape, with analysis covering details of the country's healthcare reimbursement process, regulatory agencies and the approval processes for new drugs and medical devices.

This report was built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GlobalData's team of industry experts.

For guidelines on how to cite GlobalData, please see: http://www.globaldata.com/QuotingGlobalData.aspx

GlobalData is a leading global research and consulting firm offering advanced analytics to help clients make better, more informed decisions every day. Our research and analysis is based on the expert knowledge of over 700 qualified business analysts and 25,000 interviews conducted with industry insiders every year, enabling us to offer the most relevant, reliable and actionable strategic business intelligence available for a wide range of industries.

For more information, please contact our Press Office on +44 (0)1204 543 537 or at pr@globaldata.com.

Gain access to our latest press releases and expert analysis on developments in your industry. Subscribe to our RSS feed for the Healthcare sector, or connect with us on:
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Industry News

India Medical Tourism & Forecast

Indian Medical tourism has emerged as the fastest mounting segment of tourism industry. Bangladesh is the leading source country. Maldives is the second leading market for India medical tourism, but its share is continuously declining, and it is anticipated that Afghanistan will replace Maldives to capture the second spot in the Indian medical tourism market. Russia is one of the emerging source markets for Indian medical tourism market. Nigeria in Africa and Iraq in the Middle East hold massive potential for India. Germany, France and Canada medical tourists' numbers are also rising year on year.

Renub Research report titled "India Medical Tourism & Forecast" provides a comprehensive analysis of the India medical tourism market covering in detail various aspects such as Medical Tourists' Arrivals and Medical Tourists Market (spending) from the top 63 countries.

This 248 page report with 260 Figures and three Tables provides a complete analysis of the top 63 countries that visited India for medical treatment. All the 63 countries in the report have been studied from two viewpoints.

I. Medical Tourists Arrivals in India from the year 2009 - 2018
II. Medical Tourism Market (Spending) in India from the year 2009 - 2018

Data Sources

This report is built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research and in-house analysis by Renub Research team of industry experts.

Primary sources include industry surveys and telephone interviews with industry experts.

Secondary sources information and data has been collected from various printable and non-printable sources like search engines, news websites, government websites, trade journals, white papers, government agencies, magazines, newspapers, trade associations, books, industry portals, industry associations and access to more than 500 paid databases.

For more information please click on:

Title Index:
1. Executive Summary
2. India Medical Tourist Arrivals & Forecast
3. India Medical Tourism Market & Forecast
4. India Medical Tourism Market Share & Forecast

Countries Covered:

- Afghanistan
- Argentina
- Australia
- Austria
- Bahrain
- Bangladesh
- Belgium
- Bhutan
- Brazil
- Canada
- China (Main)
- China (Taiwan)
- Czech Rep.
- Denmark
- Egypt
- Finland
- France
- Germany
- Greece
- Hungary
- Indonesia
- Iran

- Iraq
- Ireland
- Israel
- Italy
- Japan
- Kazakhstan
- Kenya
- Malaysia
- Maldives
- Mauritius
- Mexico
- Myanmar
- Nepal
- Netherlands
- New Zealand
- Nigeria
- Norway
- Oman
- Pakistan
- Philippines
- Poland

- Portugal
- Rep. of Korea
- Russian Fed.
- Saudi Arabia
- Singapore
- South Africa
- Spain
- Sri Lanka
- Sudan
- Sweden
- Switzerland
- Tanzania
- Thailand
- Turkey
- UK
- Ukraine
- Vietnam
- Yemem

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Industry News

Tour Choice Launches Medical Tourism Packages In Phuket, Thailand
Tour Choice offers the best tour packages in South East Asia, and is now offering an all-inclusive medical tourism package to Thailand's leading hospital facility.

Healthcare in the U.S. has reached a watershed which has finally made it more affordable to everyday citizens, but operations and procedures nevertheless still run into the tens of thousands of dollars and the insurance needed to cover such costs can still be extortionate. This drives people to look for affordable medical care elsewhere, though organizing every element of international medical procedures can be overwhelming. Thankfully Tour Choice, a company specializing in package holidays to South East Asia, has put together a specialized medical tourism package to take all the headache out of getting high quality medical help abroad.

The package (http://www.tourchoice.com/s/health-wellness/) comes with four full healthcare check-up options that will help people understand and take control of their health, provided in certified medical establishments promising to be both professional and convenient. The website even includes a side by side breakdown of what's included in each of the packages so individuals can choose a package to suit their needs and budget.

The good news doesn't end there, as Tour Choice offers a free transfer and five percent discount on any of the four package options, giving them the most competitive rates possible. Their dedicated customer service team has local, on-the-ground expertise and can help people understand and enjoy every part of their purchase.

A spokesperson for Tour Choice explained, "Medical tourism is a growing industry because even getting a basic battery of tests and assessments completed in places like the U.S. is unbelievably expensive, and those who are conscientious about their health want to make sure they know what is going on inside their own bodies. As well as the obvious medical and financial benefits, our customers have the amazing sights and experiences of Thailand to enjoy. We package our tours to ensure people have plenty of time to explore their tropical surroundings, as well as benefit from high class but affordable medical care."

About Tour Choice
Tour Choice provides over 70 tours in Southeast Asia with all itineraries professionally designed by local guides. They provide the most unique travel experiences the region has to offer. Tour Choice operatives love what they do, and spend considerable time travelling South East Asia to discover the best places to send their customers. Visit http://www.tourchoice.com/ for more information.

Contact Info
Name: Robert Moore 
Organization: Tour Choice 
Phone: 888-889-0343 

To view the original article click here.

Industry News

Global Spa & Wellness Summit Study: $3.4 Trillion Global Wellness Market is Now Three Times Larger Than Worldwide Pharmaceutical Industry
Following annual summit, industry leaders unveil milestone study, new clearinghouse for evidence-based research on wellness therapies, and 2015 launch of wellness industry think tank

With consumer demand for wellness services and products higher than ever, a study released today by The Global Spa & Wellness Summit reveals that the global wellness market is now worth $3.4 trillion, making it nearly three times larger than the $1 trillion* worldwide pharmaceutical industry.

The study, The 2014 Global Wellness Economy Monitor, was unveiled today in the wake of the 8th Annual Global Spa & Wellness Summit, which drew more than 400 industry leaders from 45 nations to Marrakech, Morocco, in mid-September to chart the future of the global wellness industry.

Conducted by the independent, non-profit research firm SRI International, the study confirms wellness as one of the world's largest and fastest-growing industries. To assess the size of the industry, SRI identified and evaluated ten major wellness sectors: alternative and complementary medicine; beauty and anti-aging; fitness and mind-body; healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss; preventative and personalized health; spa; thermal and mineral springs; wellness real estate; wellness tourism; and workplace wellness.

Wellness sectors seeing the most significant growth since 2010 are:

  • Healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss (108 percent increase to $276.5 billion)
  • Preventative and personalized health (78 percent increase to $243 billion)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine (65 percent increase to $113 billion)
  • Beauty and anti-aging (51 percent increase to $679 billion)

Other highlights of the study include:

  • The spa industry grew 58 percent from $60 billion in 2007 to $94 billion in 2013, with 47 percent increase in spa locations from 71,762 to 105,591
  • Wellness tourism expanded to $494 billion in revenues, rising 12.5 percent from 2012, significantly outpacing SRI's original growth forecast of 9 percent
  • The first-ever assessment of the thermal and mineral springs sector, which accounts for $50 billion in revenues and spans 26,847 properties worldwide

According to Susie Ellis, chairman and CEO of the Global Spa & Wellness Summit, the research reflects a seismic shift in both personal behavior and government policy worldwide.

"We are at a pivotal movement where people worldwide are taking steps to change the way they live, work and play, while at the same time governments are finally recognizing the value of investing in prevention to lower healthcare costs," said Ellis. "The study confirms that the wellness industry can play a critical role in leading efforts in ensuring that people worldwide have access to the best services, products and information that promote health and well-being."

"The double-digit annual growth across all wellness sectors is a direct result of prevention- challenged traditional healthcare systems and an obesity and chronic disease crisis that simply cost people and governments too much," said Ophelia Yeung, senior consultant, Center for Science, Technology & Economic Development, SRI International.

In conjunction with the debut of the research, Ellis announced the 2015 launch of the Global Wellness Institute, a new think tank that will be dedicated to developing research, education, resources and initiatives that promote innovation and sustainable growth in the global wellness industry. It will serve as an umbrella organization that oversees the Global Spa & Wellness Summit and the Global Wellness Tourism Congress, which brings together tourism ministers and wellness tourism experts at an annual conference and at regional roundtables to shape strategies for advancing the fast-growing travel category. The 9th Annual Global Spa & Wellness Summit will take place alongside the 3rd Annual Global Wellness Tourism Congress in Mexico City in 2015.

As a preview of the work that the Global Wellness Institute will develop and implement, Ellis unveiled WellnessEvidence.com, the world's first comprehensive clearinghouse of evidence- based research on wellness approaches. Created for industry professionals and consumers, the portal provides in-depth overviews of scientific research on the full range of wellness therapies - from acupuncture, massage and meditation to nutrition counseling, sauna and yoga. As part of the launch, the Global Wellness Institute announced a partnership with Scientific American, which will bring the publication's trusted coverage of science, technology information and policy to both WellnessEvidence.com and other Global Wellness Institute initiatives.

"We are excited to develop a custom content partnership with Global Wellness Institute to help elucidate the science behind many areas of wellness for a growing global audience," notes Jeremy Abbate, vice president, Global Media Alliances for Scientific American. "Topics such as meditation, nutrition, acupuncture, yoga and others have, in recent years, been studied in a very rigorous way and with the highest levels of academic scrutiny. We are in an era where wellness is becoming a much more serious and important enterprise than ever before."

The Global Wellness Economy Monitor was underwritten with support from the following industry leaders: Spafinder Wellness 365, Delos LLC, Massage Envy, Natura Bissé, MINDBODY, Biologique Recherche, Bon Vital, ESPA, Jhana, Noel Asmar, The Body Holiday and WTS International.

*IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics estimate for 2014

About The Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS)
The Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) is an international organization representing senior executives and leaders joined by a common interest in driving economic development and understanding of the spa and wellness industries. Delegates from diverse sectors, including hospitality, tourism, health and wellness, beauty, finance, medical, real estate, manufacturing and technology attend the organization's annual Summit, which is held in a different host country each year and attracts attendees from over 45 countries. The GSWS is considered the leading global research and educational resource for the $3.4 trillion spa and wellness industry. It's known for introducing major industry initiatives such as the Global Wellness Tourism Congress, whose global forums bring public and private stakeholders together to chart the course of the fast-growing wellness travel sector, and WellnessEvidence.com, the world's first online portal to the medical evidence for common wellness approaches. For more information, visit www.gsws.org.

About SRI International
SRI International is a nonprofit research and innovation center headquartered in Silicon Valley. Government and business clients worldwide come to SRI for pioneering solutions in biomedical sciences and health, chemistry and materials, computing, education, economic development, energy, security and defense, robotics, sensing, and more. We provide research, laboratory and advisory services, technology development and licenses, deployable systems, products, and venture opportunities. Our innovations have created new industries and marketplace value, and lasting benefits to society. Visit SRI's website and Timeline of Innovation to learn more

Industry News

Fourth Annual Innovation Centers Summit Workshop to be held November 17-18, 2014 at the new Innovation Lab in Newport Beach, California

BluePrint Healthcare IT, The Innovation Institute and the Innovation Lab jointly announced today the Fourth Innovation Centers Summit Workshop to be held at the Innovation Lab in Newport Beach, California, on November 17-18, 2014. Open to provider-based healthcare innovation centers, the workshop's theme, "Optimizing innovation centers to lead healthcare transformation," will be tackled over two days. The unique and highly interactive forum features breakout sessions, BluePrint's hallmark speed dating sessions and new master workshops. St. Joseph Health and Bon Secours Health System are members of The Innovation Institute.

According to Mike Squires, vice president, Innovation and Public Policy, BluePrint Healthcare IT, this event will build on the work of the first three Summit Workshops, and will continue to focus on innovation center and program operations. "Rather than listening to presentations and ‘talking heads,' participants will select topics of greatest interest for the breakout and master workshop sessions ahead of time and meet in concentrated dialogues with peers based on matched speed dating selections," said Squires.

Topics for breakout sessions may include the role of innovation centers in addressing new models of care, metrics to support ROI, tools and processes that support innovation, the role of small and big data in transforming care, as well as commercialization and stakeholder engagement. Possible topics for new master workshops range from accelerators and hackathons to formal innovation frameworks, as well as social media strategy and planning for physical and virtual innovation centers.

Summit participants will also have the opportunity to be among the first to experience the new Innovation Lab facilities set up by The Innovation Institute, opening this fall in Newport Beach, California.

Co-chairpersons for the event include Larry Stofko,  executive vice president of The Innovation Institute and Mike Squires, vice president, Innovation and Public Policy of BluePrint Healthcare IT.

"As innovators in healthcare, we have a responsibility to one another to exchange ideas and share experiences that will benefit patients, care teams, and physicians, as well as our organizations and the entire healthcare system," said Stofko. "With the opening of our new Innovation Lab facility, hosting BluePrint's Innovation Centers Summit Workshop will be a great opportunity for healthcare innovation centers across North America to collaborate."

Squires said, "Accelerating the development of a continuous learning healthcare innovation (centers) eco-system is the objective of BluePrint Healthcare IT Innovation Exchange (BIX) Summit Series. BluePrint's public policy initiative grew out of our focus on innovation as central to healthcare transformation. As more innovation centers are seeking to capitalize on employee ideas, commercialize technology, and deliver better healthcare at reduced costs, everyone will benefit from the cross-fertilization of ideas and learnings."

Forty-three provider-based healthcare innovation centers and initiatives have joined the Summit Workshop series, with 20 to 25 centers at each. The first Summit Workshop was held at Kaiser Permanente's Garfield Innovation Center in 2012, the second at KP's Center for Total Health in 2013 and the third in the spring of 2014 at Johns Hopkins Hospital, hosted by Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design. Post-summit feedback showed participants agreed the overall goal of cross-fertilization between independent healthcare innovation centers was successful and would recommend similar workshops to colleagues at their organization and others.

Please contact Mike Squires at mike.squires@blueprinthit.com or 908.391.6191 or write Pamela Macey at pamela.macey@blueprinthit.com if you have any questions about participating or supporting sponsorship of this event.

Interested innovation center executives and staff can find additional information or register online at http://www.blueprinthit.com/innovation/Fall-2014-Innovation-Centers-Summit

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About BluePrint Healthcare IT
BluePrint Healthcare IT is a professional services and software company working with healthcare organizations to create secure, connected communities of care to achieve the Triple Aim. Founded in 2003 in Cranbury, New Jersey, BluePrint Healthcare IT supports hospitals, healthcare systems, accountable care organizations, regional healthcare initiatives and health plans. BluePrint became a Microsoft Managed Partner with the development of Care Navigator™, the care coordination technology platform used to enable active, scalable communication for the whole extended care team from physician to patient. BluePrint's Innovation Exchange (BIX) public policy initiative supports cross-fertilization and collaboration among its expanding network of provider-based innovation centers. To learn more visit http://www.blueprinthit.com.

About The Innovation Institute 
The Innovation Institute is an independent, for-profit LLC structured to cultivate innovative solutions to transform healthcare delivery. The Innovation Institute will be owned by seven non-profit health systems. This collaborative will tap into physicians, employees, and industry business partners to incubate and commercialize new products and ideas. Comprised of three distinct elements - an innovation lab, an investment fund, and a shared services group (Enterprise Development Group), the Institute strives to "do more, with less, for more people." For more information, visit http://www.ii4change.com.

Industry News

How to Find a Doctor While Traveling Abroad
by Vitals

The last thing you want to consider when planning your vacation is what to do if you get sick or injured while traveling. Talk about a downer. Still, it's better to be prepared in the unlikely event of an accident or illness while away from home. Here is what to do before you leave on your trip to ensure you'll have access to medical care should you need it:

Read the full story here: Finding a doctor or medical care while traveling abroad

Industry News

Help Save a Life and Support MatchingDonors
100 percent of all donations on MatchingDonors.com go to help people get organ transplants on MatchingDonors.com.

MatchingDonors is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and the nation's largest online living organ donor organization finding living organ donors for people needing organ transplants.  In conjunction with various health organizations throughout the United States we have created a very successful Public Service Announcement campaign to help people recognize that they can save lives by being a living organ donor, to encourage them to register as an altruistic living organ donor, and to make them realize they can help save the lives of people needing organ transplants by donating other things. This MatchingDonors Living Organ Donor Initiative program has already saved thousands of lives.

Medical Asia


November 5-7, 2014 - Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
To learn more or to register click here.

Mexico: Summit on Medical Tourism & Wellness Business


November 5-7, 2014 - Reynosa Cultural Park, Tamaulipas, Mexico
To learn more or to register click here.

IHC Forum West 2014


December 4-5, 2014 - Red Rock Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada
To learn more or to register click here.

International India Medical Tourism Conference - Confluence 2014

December 13-14, 2014 - Kempinski Hotel, New Delhi, India
To learn more or to register click here.

Arab Health Exhibition & Congress


January 26-29, 2015 - Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Dubai, UAE
To learn more or to register click here.

International Health Tourism Conference


February 26-28, 2015 - Athens, Greece
To learn more or to register click here.

Kuwait Medical Tourism Conference & Exhibition

March 16-18, 2015 - Crowne Plaza Kuwait, Kuwait City, Kuwait
To learn more or to register click here.

Moscow Medical and Health Tourism Congress


March 18-21, 2015 - Moscow Expocenter, Moscow, Russia
To learn more or to register click here.

Medical Fair India


March 21-23, 2015 - Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, India
To learn more or to register click here.

12th Annual World Health Care Congress 2015


March 23-25, 2015 - Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, D.C.
To learn more or to register click here.

2nd Istanbul Medical, Health, Geriatrics, Termal, Spa & Wellness Tourism Fair & Congress

May 7-9, 2015 - Istanbul Congress Center, Istanbul, Turkey
To learn more or to register click here.

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Medical Travel Today: Opinions and Perspectives on an Industry in the Making

Medical Travel Today - the authoritative newsletter for the worldwide medical travel industry - is pleased to announce publication of a new book, "Medical Travel Today: Opinions and Perspectives on an Industry in the Making."

Featuring 40 of the newsletter's most compelling interviews from the first five years of publication, the volume chronicles the explosive growth of international medical tourism as witnessed and experienced by some of the key stakeholders and players. A must-read for anyone interested or involved in the industry.

News in Review

Over 10,000 Nigerian Doctors in U.S.

Businessdailyonline.com-The brain drain in the health sector of Africa's most populous country, Nigeria, has reached an alarming rate, as over 10,000 Nigerian medical doctors are currently practicing in the United States alone. Ironically, the majority of influential Nigerians who seek medical tourism to the United States are mostly treated by Nigerian doctors there.

Colombia Boasts High Ratings for Private Hospitals in Bid to Attract Medical Tourists

Colombiareports.co-In a list of the best private hospitals and clinics in Latin America published by newspaper America Economia, Colombia has rated highly with four out of the top ten best hospitals in 2013.

DHA Rolls Out Medical Tourism Packages

Gulfnews.com-Dubai: The first medical tourism packages, in line with the medical tourism policy of the Dubai Health Authority, will be rolled out on October 22-23 during the first health regulations conference taking place in Dubai.

Pharaon: Lebanon Remains One of Top Medical Tourism Destinations

Eturbonews.com-Despite the volatile security situation, Lebanon remains one of the top destinations for people seeking medical care in the Eastern world, tourism minister Michel Pharaon said Sunday.

Israel Ranks High As a Medical Tourism Destination

Timesofisrael.com-Israel ranks as one of the world's best places for foreigners to get medical care, according to an authoritative annual report.

Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) To Hold Its First Medical Tourism Festival In The UAE

Zawya.com-Korea is considered as one of the fastest growing Medical Tourism destinations in the world. Its medical tourism industry has been expanding at an average rate of 38.4% annually since it began promoting this sector back in 2009.


Do you know of any available job openings relative to the medical travel industry? We encourage readers to submit any available, relevant job opportunities along with its descriptions and requirements for fellow readers and industry professionals to consider. All submissions are appreciated.


Editor's Note: The information in Medical Travel Today is believed to be accurate, but in some instances, may represent opinion or judgment. The newsletter's providers do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any of the information and shall not be liable for any loss or damage caused - directly or indirectly - by or from the information. All information should be considered a supplement to - and not a substitute for - the care provided by a licensed healthcare provider or other appropriate expert. The appearance of advertising in this newsletter should in no way be interpreted as a product or service endorsement by the newsletter's providers.