Medeguide: new medical tourism portal


Ruben Toral, Chief Executive of Mednet Asiaand President of the IMTA, will launch a new medical tourism portal called Medeguide to provide doctors and hospitals a platform to market their products and services online. The site will go live on June 30, and when launched at the Healthcare Travel Congress in Singapore hopes to feature profiles of around 1,000 doctors from over 10 countries. By 2010 the site expects to have over 5,000 doctors in 20 different specialties.

Toral was Marketing Director at Bumrungrad International in Bangkok, before becoming chief executive of Mednet Asia. He is also president of the International Medical Travel Association  (IMTA). Mednet Asia provides consulting, branding and marketing support to large US payer networks, international hospitals and information technology companies.

Medeguide serves two audiences. For consumers, it is a one stop source of information on doctors and treatment packages, allowing patients to search, find and connect with hospitals and doctors based on location, specialty, procedures and board certification.
For doctors and hospitals, it is an online platform to market their services and products to the millions who search for medical information daily. Top 10 doctors are specially selected based on their experience, qualifications and affiliations with leading hospitals. Ruben Toral says, "Globalization, the internet and consumerism are transforming healthcare. This is a tool to help patients make better healthcare choices by providing them with relevant information about doctors and treatment options globally."

Already signed up are Bumrungrad International, Parkway, Christus Muguerza, Apollo Hospitals, Max Healthcare and Wockhardt Hospitals.Vishal Bali for Wockhardt Hospitals in India, says. "Our experience is that patients, particularly those from overseas, use the web as their primary source of information when researching hospitals, doctors and treatment packages." Theo Seiler for Asian Hospital in the Philippines adds. "It is an ideal platform for us because we can use it to promote our doctors locally and globally."

Patients Beyond Borders, the medical tourism guidebook publisher, has agreed to develop content for the Destinations section, which includes information for prospective patients about popular medical travel destinations throughout Asia, Latin America, and Europe.

Russell Conrad has joined as head of advertising and sponsorship, from Admax Networks, and agreed a deal with Admax Plus, a web based marketing firm that also uses social media marketing on Facebook and Twitter.

With his IMTA hat on, Toral advises, “IMTA is the only global association that brings together hospitals, providers and other medical travel stakeholders in a collective movement to develop and promote policies, best practices and best products around these issues. We expect to build membership by focusing on providers. the foundation of the medical travel industry, whose support is critical to IMTA’s credibility and financial health. Now more than ever, this nascent industry needs a unified voice that exemplifies integrity and works toward industry guidelines. It expects to play an even greater role in promoting patient safety and protecting individual well being by raising the bar on the development of globally recognized, quality standards, creating guidelines that advance industry self-regulation. We can accelerate the process and move the industry forward.”



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