Posted on 2nd February 2017
Providing appropriate healthcare at sea has always been a major issue for the marine industry. Current legislation requires that the crew on a vessel receive a standard of healthcare as close as possible to that provided on land, but finding ways of fulfilling those legal obligations can be challenging. This is particularly true when it comes to working out if the condition is an urgent one that needs a prompt, emergency response, or if it’s one that can be safely left until the voyage is completed. It’s in these circumstances that using telemedicine can be of real benefit to crew members and operating companies.
Diverting a vessel from its pre-arranged route in order to obtain medical treatment for a member of the team isn’t just frustrating and inconvenient, it can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. Perishable cargoes may be ruined and whilst the vessel is tied up on a mercy mission, it can’t be commissioned to do anything else. Telemedicine can help keep costly diversions and medical emergencies to a minimum, by transmitting key data about the patient’s condition to medical professionals on shore, who can give a diagnosis and make appropriate recommendations without the need for crew members to visit a land-based facility.
The telemedicine equipment we provide incorporates a range of different sensors that can record basic health information such as blood pressure, temperature and oxygen saturation levels. There are also optional sensors for measuring blood sugar levels and an ECG monitor. The sensors are easy to apply and minimal training is needed to use the equipment. The information obtained from the monitors can be transmitted directly to a land-based medical professional, who will be able to use their expert judgement to decide on an appropriate course of action. Not only does this mean that it’s easier to identify when there is a true medical emergency, it also enhances crew safety by ensuring their condition is monitored by a fully qualified medic.
Telemedicine equipment has the potential to save the marine industry millions of pounds each year. Not only can it result in fewer emergency diversions, it also improves crew healthcare and ensures compliance with relevant marine legislation relating to healthcare at sea. If you value your crew as well as your bottom line, investing in high-grade telemedicine equipment could well be a sensible decision to make.
To safeguard your crew’s welfare today get in touch with us by email or phone to find out more information or to arrange an iVital™ demonstration.
How to avoid unnecessary ship diversions using telemedicine technology – read more
What are the implications of misdiagnosing critical illness on board – read more