Since global transportation represents no problem nowadays, it has become quite common to look for a doctor abroad. There are many reasons for medical tourism development: differences in medical expertise, service quality, the price of the treatment etc. Not surprisingly, medical travel is growing into a new market niche, which has already started to get filled with startups and various pilot projects in medicine. One of the latest trends is concerned with launching special platforms, so-called integrators, gathering information about world clinics, analyzing it and providing useful data for patients, who search medical treatment abroad.
In the US, there are already hundreds of such services, in Europe, they are gaining popularity.Vladimir Gurdus, a co-founder of Team Drive company and an investor in medical projects, notices that medical integrators and online platforms occupy a non-brand market yet. In other words, there are no definite market leaders, setting a certain business trend or promoting some unique ideas. Medical tourism needs its own Uber and there are all the opportunities for that.
For now, Medigo startup is one of the well-positioned med-tourism projects in Europe. Medigo is a kind of online marketplace, where you can find up to 400 internationally-accredited clinics and hospitals located in 23 countries all over the globe. The service simplifies the complex process of finding affordable treatment, higher quality medical facilities abroad and also provides a convenient mode for booking procedures, handling all the medical travel issues. A client sends all the necessary information, concerning their health and then receives several treatment options. There is a wide range of extra services according to the selected payment tariff: consultancy, transfer management, visa support, accommodation, personal assistance and even more. Medigo has individual partnership agreements with each hospital or clinic. Medigo charges no extra fees for treatment (only for additional services such as assistance or an interpreter), all the money is transferred directly to the hospital. In return, hospitals provide certain commission fees to the platform.
Founded by a Polish entrepreneur Pawel Cebula and a Turkish businessman Ugur Samut in 2013, Medigo has recently disclosed a $3.5 million investment, raised from Chinese corporation CL Global Healthcare. Before that, investors (including Accel Partners, famous for investing in Facebook, Spotify, Dropbox) had already poured $10 million in Medigo service. According to Ugur, the platform has no strong competitors: most of the similar projects are targeted at local markets, whereas Medigo is working on a global level. The startup team consists of 50 members from 30 countries. 10 people are responsible for medical services organization and patients’ consulting, there is also a department responsible for communication with clinics, an IT-department, also departments of marketing, content management and business development.
According to Accel Partners, 6-10 million people are travelling abroad in search medical services every year. Medical travel market is evaluated at $55 billion and is growing at 15% every year. Currently, the main task of Medigo and similar services is to increase their brand awareness. Also, it is highly preferable to achieve maximum price and quality transparency.
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