Telemedicine at Sea
By Dr. John Howe, Medical Director
The digitalisation evolution in the maritime industry ensures critical safety and efficiency protocols and is essential to smooth operations and a reliable global supply chain. Developmentally advanced in its applications, telemedicine is at the forefront of medical care and is increasingly in demand.
By adopting these fully integrated platforms, maritime operators, captains and crew in all sectors have access to healthcare anytime, anywhere. There is an emerging trend toward the installation of medical facilities aboard; however, many vessels are limited in this regard. Telemedicine enables comprehensive healthcare services and is a reliable solution.
In the evolution of medicine over the past few years, commercial operators and yacht owners, captains, and management firms, are increasingly receptive to telemedicine’s digital architecture. It’s remarkably easy to use aboard and ashore.
Digitalisation in the form of telemedicine is also intensely practical and presents considerable cost efficiencies. According to a 2013 study by the International Maritime Health Association of 23,299 commercial vessels with 420,000 crew members, 1 in 5 ships are forced to divert course for medical reasons per year. The average cost of a diversion comes to $180,000 USD. Telemedicine can reduce the number of unnecessary ship diversions by 20%, resulting in cost savings to the industry of $168 million USD per year.
VIKAND is at the forefront when it comes to adopting new technology. Our telemedicine solution is comprehensive and includes every healthcare protocol one might find in a shore-based clinic. Moreover, we partner with a select range of medical device manufacturers to produce a telehealth kit that delivers the most cost effective and impactful medical data on the market.
By combining telemedicine with a proactive approach and the latest in medical device technology, we believe that telemedicine fundamentally benefits crew members, ship owners, and the wider maritime industry.