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The search for medical technologies abroad
Date:7/20/2012

Tampa, Fla. (July 19, 2012) The search for medical technologies through 'medical travel' can change the lives of patients and their family members, according to medical anthropologists Cecilia Vindrola-Padros and Linda M. Whiteford, who examined the lives of Bolivian and Paraguayan families who traveled to Buenos Aries, Argentina, seeking pediatric oncology care for their children. In a study published in the current issue of Technology and Innovation Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors, Vindrola-Padros and Whiteford, who are both at the University of South Florida, examined the diverse and complex causes that lead to medical travel in quest of new and better medical technologies, and also analyzed the role of the host country.

"Rather than focus on issues of equality of access, many academic discussions related to technology focus on technology innovation and adaptation to suit the needs of users," said Vindrola-Padros.

In their study, she and Whiteford accessed the medical travelers' reasons for seeking the technologies, analyzed the impact on the families, and reviewed the health care policies of the host nation.

According to Vindrola-Padros, the migration and health care policies of the host country play a significant role.

"The host country's resources available for medically traveling families also determine the ease with which families can settle and adapt," she explained.

Vindrola-Padros and Whiteford noted that a new Argentinian government initiative called "Medicina Argentina," along with a reduction in the prices of medical procedures in Argentina, are driving an increase in medical travelers to that nation. In addition, Argentina has permissive immigration and health policies under a model of universal health care in which public health care is not viewed in terms of financial gain
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Contact: Judy Lowry
jhlowry@usf.edu
813-974-3181
University of South Florida (USF Innovation)
Source:Eurekalert

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