18 Jun MEDICAL SPHERES. HEALTH 4.0
MEDICAL SPHERES: HEALTH 4.0
18 June 2019
PR and marketing consultancy specialized in the medical and pharmaceutical industries, Medical Spheres develops a new online ecosystem to serve the local medical community, patients, laymen and… Tourists!
THAILAND IS ONE OF THE LEADING MEDICAL TOURISM DESTINATIONS GLOBALLY. ALONG WITH ITS ASIAN NEIGHBORS SINGAPORE AND INDIA, IT ACCOUNTS FOR 90% OF ASIA’S MEDICAL TOURISM MARKET.
For over 10 years, Thailand has been developing the strategic plan to raise the level of medical tourism and public health services, in order to meet international standard. It now has the highest number of Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited hospitals in Asia Pacific Region and a workforce of 29,000 doctors, of which more than 80% have completed postgraduate work in advanced Western nations. Bangkok itself has more than 35 private 5-star hospitals rivaling the highest quality of private facilities in the United States or Europe at substantially lower cost. This large Bangkok-based international medical market can benefit from Thailand Medical News’ focus on this industry.
The platform is the brainchild of Medical Spheres cofounder Mr. Jakkapong Watcharachaijunta (Neung), 37 years old, who initially entered the Marketing and Public Relations Arena and got the chance to complete while working his first degree in Political Science from Pathumthani University.
Encompassing local and international medical news and featuring several resource modules and various e-commerce platforms in one user-friendly site, the platform constitutes a very smart tool that serves a wide array of industry-related functions such as a recruitment station for medical staff, a medical forum for information exchange among providers and patients, a medical classifieds section and also a medical staff awards module, where individuals can nominate and vote for outstanding medical professionals or establishments in the industry including doctors, hospital and nurses. You can even find a very clever coaching module that help doctors and nurses deal with daily stress!
The self-financed start-up platform, which is in developmental stages, has already gained more than 850,000 registered followers combined with over 2,000 queries daily and a peak of 5,000 every Sunday on its live chat. Singaporeans, Malaysians, Americans, Australians, followed now by Chinese, Indians and Middle East… visitors are coming from all over the world. The most frequent needs are aesthetic and dental and major medical diseases related are cancers (i.e. prostate, breast and colon).
Mr. Jakkapong created multiple medical tourism subdomains which cater to foreigners interested in aesthetic treatments, anti-aging protocols and major medical procedures. The health tourism platform, which is the first of its kind has an online booking system featuring an “à la carte” menu where patients can book specific doctors, facilities, operating rooms and even their own nursing staff from the convenience of one platform. Allowing patients to choose what they would like in their care is a crucial step toward improving the level of Thai medical care and attracting new customers from around the globe: “The global medical industry must realize that the trend is now moving towards the patient-centric focus where patients want to be part of the decisions and treatment options and this represents just a beginning towards that realization,” said Mr. Jakkapong.
In the future, those services will move beyond the borders to include more nations like the UAE, the United States, Australia and other Asian countries. The site contains a comprehensive database where visitors can search for doctors by specialty and region as well as locating pharmacies, drug manufacturing companies, medical device suppliers, and medical insurance companies. It is also developing the largest database of pharmaceuticals which includes even drug pricings at various outlets. The site will host a medical crowdfunding module to help fund treatment costs, for medical research or medical start-ups, or to finance the cost of postgraduate medical specialization.
Furthermore, the platform features an online shop where users can purchase medical insurance packages and high-quality approved devices at competitive prices. A branded credit card will be launched in partnership with a leading Thai bank. A proprietary brand of medical and health insurance packages, underwritten by one of the largest reinsurance groups in the world, is being developed as well. As an alternative to medical insurance, Thailand Medical News is currently developing a “health savings card” program designed for expats which can be used at participating hospitals. Compared to standard rates, purchases of the card will save up to 35% at hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and spas.
In terms of health education, this new tool hosts online and offline training seminars targeting both medical professionals and laymen, providing education on topics from disease management to lifestyle optimization. It will support the Thai government in its initiatives to prevent disease through education, early diagnosis, and lifestyle modification. The site is currently developing over 37 free mobile applications to be used to support health management among the population and reduce the burdens on public healthcare. These apps perform a variety of functions, from glucose (blood sugar) monitoring to advising for prevention of STD transmissions.
By September 2019, the fully completed website will have more than 265 modules and subdomains, with a total of 46 medical apps linked to the site. Representatives of various governments including Vietnam, UAE and Canada have already approached Mr. Jakkapong to help develop similar platforms in their countries. Currently, he is working on 78 new sites as well as an array of medical platforms and apps including Thailand Cancer Help, being translated into Thai and Mandarin, which features one of the largest online collections of updated resources on cancer (420,000 pages!)
This brilliant team led by Mr. Jakkapong is not just into online medical platforms but rather extensively into apps and AI-driven healthcare platforms. Last May 2019, Media Spheres was not only the media partner and sponsor for the healthcare segment at the UN sponsored “AI for Good Global Summit” in Geneva, it also revealed new projects: an AI-Neuroimaging platform to diagnose, among others, Alzheimer and Dementia and even an AI-based virtual doctor!