The future of crew welfare: Using advanced technology to reduce maritime health hazards


In last week’s article, we looked at the inherent dangers of working at sea and the staggering numbers of seafarers that are evacuated from vessels due to ill health each year. Luckily, times are changing! This week we review the latest innovative technology that’s revolutionising offshore healthcare.

The world’s leading cause of death

Offshore, a worst-case scenario is a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). One of the most serious concerns to seafarers, SCA’s kill over 3 million people every year and are the world’s leading cause of death. Innovative, specialist technology like Martek Marine’s Lifeforce AED is a life saver, literally. It’s the world’s first automatic marine industry defibrillator.

Marine industry defibrillators…saving lives in 3 just minutes!

In the event of a SCA at sea, survival rates drop by 10% with every minute that passes. It is therefore recommended by flag authorities, ship owners’ associations and maritime unions, that ships carry an automated external defibrillator (AED) on board. Defibrillation with market-leading products can take place within 3 minutes and on average the chances of survival are increased by 70%.

On the NHS procurement frameworks for the whole of the UK, as well as being recommended supplier to Ambulance Service AED programs, Martek Marine used this experience, combined with a background in disruptive technology for the marine industry, to create Lifeforce AED.

Advancing offshore medical care with no capital investment

Supplied alongside marine industry approved defibrillators, the first marine approved, wireless telemedicine solution available for a monthly fee, iVital™, advances offshore medical care, reduces unnecessary ship diversions and ultimately saves lives, with no capital investment required.

iVital™ features specialist monitoring sensors to check the patient’s vital signs. The full kit includes; a blood pressure monitor; pulse oximeter; IR forehead thermometer; ECG monitor and a glucometer. The data is transmitted via a wireless connection to an onshore doctor, who is then able to assess the patient through a high-definition video service. Patient records are stored in accordance with Information Governance (IG) standards, meaning patient confidentiality is assured.

Telemedicine: Addressing potentially serious healthcare issues in real-time

The benefits that telemedicine brings to seafarers & shipping companies include; increased patient engagement; better patient care quality; quicker and more convenient clinical access; a reduction in lost time through illness and injury; improved crew retention and reduced, unnecessary patient evacuations. Through sophisticated diagnostics, potentially serious healthcare issues can be addressed quickly with real-time, urgent care consultations and the best course of action can be discussed within minutes.

According to a study by the International Maritime Health Association (IMHA) of 23,299 commercial ships with 420,000 crew members, one in five ships are forced to divert due to crew illness each year. In addition to reducing unnecessary diversions and evacuations, feedback from the IMHA, outlines further benefits to using telemedicine which include being perceived as a quality employer and greater crew retention.

Safeguarding your crew’s wellbeing: A complete solution

iVital™ offers a fully comprehensive package of medically certified hardware and software, backed up by a cutting-edge cloud server and specialist clinical service. In addition to this, a flexible range of training and after-sales options give ship owners peace of mind that everything required is supplied via a single point of contact.

The largest shipping companies are already on board

The largest shipping companies across the globe, including; ABC Maritime; Halul Offshore; J.Lauritzen; United Arab Shipping and Wilson Ship Management already trust Martek Marine’s crew welfare technology to look after their crew.

For more information on telemedicine systems, defibrillators and other crew welfare products, just contact the Martek team today