The Medical Tourism trend is on the move in Orthopedics |

The Medical Tourism trend is on the move in Orthopedics

This year, hundreds of thousands of Americans will travel outside the United States for health care. The rising cost of medical treatment in the U.S. sends Americans abroad in record numbers. Around 500,000 Americans leave the country each year for some sort of elective medical procedure, including Orthopedic procedures.

Medical tourism originated in the 1990’s with cosmetic procedures. Today, a large percentage of patients travel for common Orthopedic procedures—total hips, total knees, spine fusions, etc. There is no rule of thumb, but a total joint procedure outside the US typically costs the patient 25%-75% less than in the US.

This trend is driven by economics, demographics, globalization and technology, and cannot be ignored. The huge scale and logistics become as simple as calling your travel agent. If you don’t believe it, just take a look at WorldMedAssist http://www.worldmedassist.com/ or PassportMedical http://www.passportmedical.com/ as examples.

Choose a procedure, choose a country, and book your trip.  One, two, three.

Articles about Medical Tourism

Jamaican doctor pioneers disc replacement procedure (Jamaican Observer)

A group of doctors has high hopes that an artificial disc, owned exclusively by a Jamaican-born doctor, can be used as a tool to drive medical tourism in Jamaica.

The technology was used for the first time in a four-level disc replacement procedure at the Andrews Memorial Hospital in St Andrew on February 1. The surgical procedure was performed by orthopaedic spinal surgeon Dr Kingsley Chin, who was born in Buff Bay, Portland.

Chin is CEO of KIC Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on the health technology sector and the owner of AxioMed, a health tech company that has developed the technology known as the Freedom Cervical disc. AxioMed was founded to advance the standard of care for patients with degenerative spine conditions and has now successfully developed the artificial disc that most closely mimics the normal disc using viscoelastic polymer technology.

In disc replacement, worn or damaged disc material between the small bones in the spine (vertebrae) is removed and replaced with a synthetic or ‘artificial’ disc. The goal of the procedure is to relieve back pain while maintaining more normal motion than is allowed with some other procedures, such as spinal fusion. The Freedom Cervical disc is said to most closely mimic the natural properties of a healthy human disc and has been proven to withstand the forces and wear of decades of use.

 

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