RESEARCH ARTICLE


Nip, Tuck and Click: Medical Tourism and the Emergence of Web-Based Health Information



Neil Lunt*, 1, Mariann Hardey2, Russell Mannion1
1 The York Management School, University of York, York, UK
2 Department of Sociology, University of York, York, UK


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© Lunt et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the York Management School, University of York, UK; E-mail: nl517@york.ac.uk


Abstract

An emerging trend is what has become commonly known as ‘Medical Tourism’ where patients travel to overseas destinations for specialised surgical treatments and other forms of medical care. With the rise of more affordable cross-border travel and rapid technological developments these movements are becoming more commonplace. A key driver is the platform provided by the internet for gaining access to healthcare information and advertising. There has been relatively little attention given to the role and impact of web-based information to inform Medical Tourism decisions.

This article provides a brief overview of the most recent development in Medical Tourism and examines how this is linked to the emergence of specialized internet web sites. It produces a summary of the functionality of medical tourist sites, and situates Medical Tourism informatics within the broader literatures relating to information search, information quality and decision-making.

This paper is both a call to strengthen the empirical evidence in this area, and also to advocate integrating Medical Tourism research within a broader conceptual framework.