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The Role of Social Media for Knowledge Dissemination in Medical Tourism: A Case of India

The Role of Social Media for Knowledge Dissemination in Medical Tourism: A Case of India
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Author(s): Anita Medhekar (Central Queensland University, Australia)
Copyright: 2017
Pages: 30
Source title: Harnessing Social Media as a Knowledge Management Tool
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Ritesh Chugh (Central Queensland University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0495-5.ch002

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Abstract

The use of social media for information dissemination for education, environmental movement, natural disasters, emergency, election campaign, grass root movements, non-profit organisations, public health communication, and marketing for health promotion, e-governance, and political revolutions is well known. The economic significance of the health and medical tourism sector in the global healthcare business should not be underestimated. Internet is playing a leading role as a platform for the dissemination of medical tourism business information. In this century, more and more actual and potential tourists are accessing the internet and social media applications to find and disseminate factual information regarding medical tourism facilitators, destinations, super-speciality hospitals, specialist doctors and nurses, quality and accreditation, accommodation facility, cost, waiting period for surgery and sharing their positive and negative experiences to inform potential medical tourists. Healthcare providers and medical tourists acquire information, create, collaborate, communicate and disseminate healthcare and medical tourism related information through the Word-of-Social-Media (WoSM) tools such as FaceBook, Flickr, Twitter, Blogs, Forums, YouTube patient testimonials, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Photo and video sharing, Alexa and mobile applications. Therefore social media has a great potential as an information source and a knowledge dissemination tool for tourism industry to network and create clusters locally and globally, to exploit new innovative technologies for interaction and collaboration between the healthcare providers as well as the medical tourists. The main contribution of this chapter is to explore and discuss the role and use of social media applications for knowledge dissemination by hospitals and the medical tourists in the global business of medical tourism in India.

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