The global medical travel market is simultaneously experiencing both saturation and exponential growth. The International Medical Travel Exhibition and Conference (IMTEC) 2013 is a two-day conference that will provide a transparent platform for both consumers and service providers to understand the latest trends and drivers in the global medical tourism industry. Discussion on topics such as cross-border healthcare, consumerization of healthcare, the convergence of technology, advances in social media, aggressive marketing, transparency and travel facilitation, as well as patient rights and literacy will go a long way towards facilitating the process of seamless medical travel.
Patients are always on the search for the best doctors and medical services globally. This creates pressure and an incentive for medical institutions, motivating them to improve the quality of their services and ensure that their medical staff are highly qualified and fit the consumer’s demands. IMTEC 2013 – taking place for the first time on 22-23 March at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco – will host the most advanced players and thinkers in this context to learn and discuss the most recent developments in the medical travel market. IMTEC is organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, the organisers of the world’s second largest healthcare exhibition ‘Arab Health’, in strategic cooperation with the European Medical Travel Conference (EMTC).
According to Dr. Uwe Klein, Chairman of IMTEC, “The main challenge and objective in the current market is to create an environment where the consumer is educated in his/her rights and entitlements in cross-border healthcare. This will result in an increase in demand for medical travel. The growing dominance of social media is outperforming structured and traditional systems of communication. This will change the way brands, beliefs, information and knowledge is transferred around the globe. This development also affects medical tourism and the way in which customers are reached and convinced.
IMTEC 2013 will host discussions on how the advanced use of social media and health packaging makes it possible to offer easier access to wellness, cosmetic surgery and other convenient health solutions in a consumer friendly way.
Medical tourism will profit from the development of social media as long the service providers become more active in this area. Tactical marketing on platforms such as Facebook, mobile applications and bonus or points systems will open many windows of opportunities for service providers willing to invest time and effort into this new way of communication. Relying on a classic marketing strategy without taking into account the constant and ever changing presence on the web can be risky.
“The issue here is how to help customers to discern truth from fake?” says Dr. Klein. “It is the responsibility of service providers to make these ways of accessing solutions reliable, trustful and of high quality to the patient.”
Key speakers at IMTEC 2013 include Ms. Laila Al Jassmi, CEO of Health Policy and Strategy Sector, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), UAE; Dr. Paolo Giordano, Managing Director, European Union of Private Hospitals (UEHP), France; Josef Woodman, President, Patients Beyond Borders, USA; Dr. William Ruschhaupt, Chairman Global Health Center, Cleveland Clinic, USA; Ruben Toral, Founder and Director, Medeguide, Thailand; and Isabel de la Mata, Principal Adviser, SANCO – Heath & Consumers, European Commission, Luxembourg.
The speaker faculty comprises of the many of people who are actively shaping the face of medical travel. IMTEC is the only balanced, non-political, neutral and open platform serving the global medical travel community.