Following the affordability of traveling by air, more patients are now able to roam around the world whenever their hearts desire (Dreisbach, Vij, & Dreisbach, 2020). However, it is not only through innovations of air transportation that medically-challenged individuals rely on when traveling.
Keeping Medical Records through Cloud Computing
One of the requirements of patient-travelers is obtaining a medical clearance from their doctors to travel, may it be for vacation or seeking treatment in a more advanced medical facility. Cloud computing, a service that allows corporations and academics to store big data for research use, is currently being utilized by Indian medical doctors. Such development permitted medical tourism facilities to store data-intensive information, such as results of x-rays, CT-scans, and laboratory tests, among others, and is accessible to patients anywhere in the world – even in an area with low bandwidth (Agnihotri, 2016). Medical research has shown that this initiative reduced the costs of physical storage in hospitals and improved the quality of treatment, as the availability and quality of medical tests results remain consistent (Chand, Tripathi, & Mishra, 2016).
People are commonly conscious when it comes to the security of privacy when storing data in the cloud. Microsoft’s chief medical officer Simon Kos mentioned that while there are risks in establishing such databases, it is only minimal as companies like theirs continue to invest in ensuring the data privacy and is compliant with industry standards on confidentiality (Comstock, 2018).
Acer, through its holistic cloud development project BeingWare, implemented its software in Taiwan’s leading hospitals for the early and quick detection of diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and influenza (Shih, 2018). They also analyze existing data from the territory’s national health database using artificial intelligence to predict forecasts on the spread of illnesses.
The emergence of Flying Hospitals
The United States armed forces have converted several of their Boeing C-17 Globemaster III into fully-fledged hospitals for use by their medical regiments in conflict areas (Sneed, 2015). Medical technology has now progressed that even the most complicated instruments necessary for critical care are now portable for use in intensive care units (ICUs) in flying hospitals.
This development may have been already expected in military operations. Fortunately, availing medical services in these flying hospitals are already available to civilians. In 1999, non-government organization ORBIS launched a refurbished DC-10 jetplane as the first ‘flying eye hospital.’ For the past 20 years, their project has been providing free eye surgeries to treatable and preventable eye diseases to impoverished communities all over the African continent (Chui, 2019).
As such, we can expect more of these technological innovations in medical tourism to make medical services accessible to the farthest of places in the world.
Agnihotri, H. (2016). How Technology Is Adding Innovation In Medical Tourism. Entrepreneur India. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/280180.
Chand, R.D., Tripathi, M.M., & Mishra, S. (2016). Cloud Computing for Medical Applications & Healthcare Delivery:Technology, Application, Security and Swot Analysis. International Conference on Advancement of Computer Engineering and Information Technology, S155-S159. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/299454908_Cloud_Computing_for_Medical_Applications_Healthcare_DeliveryTechnology_Application_Security_and_Swot_Analysis.
Chui, S. (2019). Mission Orbis – Flying inside ORBIS flying eye hospital. Sam Chui – Aviation & Travel. Retrieved from https://samchui.com/2019/11/30/mission-orbis-flying-inside-orbis-flying-eye-hospital-md-10/#.XhSsFkczbIU.
Comstock, J. (2018). Why healthcare data may be more secure with cloud computing. MobiHealthNews. Retrieved from https://www.mobihealthnews.com/content/why-healthcare-data-may-be-more-secure-cloud-computing.
Dreisbach, S.M., Vij, M., and Dreisbach, J.L. (2020). Travel Motivations of Cancer Patients. In S. Paul & S.K. Kulshreshtha (Eds.), Global Developments in Healthcare and Medical Tourism, pp. 78-95. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9787-2.ch005.
Shih, J. (2018). Acer Cloud Technology's aBeing Cloud Helps Customers to Effortlessly Build a Cloud Ecosystem that Provides the Public with Early Prevention Health Management Solutions. Taiwan Healthcare+. Retrieved from https://www.taiwan-healthcare.org/biob2b/taiwan-insight?articleSysid=BhsArticle20180611185337508939446&articleTypeSysid=B.
Sneed, A. (2015). The Flying Hospital That Rushes Wounded Soldiers to Safety. Wired. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/2015/01/military-airplane-hospital/.