Date: 13 April 2023
VIKAND has been nominated for the 2023 Service Provider Award, which aims to reward any organization that delivered service which contributes towards improving crew welfare.
The physical and mental health of seafarers has rightly taken more of a priority in recent years in shipping. Living and working onboard for months at a time has its own set of unique circumstances which can add to the normal stresses of everyday life.
VIKAND was developed from the concept that all seafarers deserve the highest quality physical and mental healthcare. Our remote medical team is staffed with medical professionals, all of whom have seafaring experience, VIKAND provides the latest healthcare and crew welfare solutions to support those working at sea.
Uninterrupted Onboard Connectivity
With recent advances in onboard connectivity, VIKAND has been able to establish a best-in-class telemedicine service. Using minimal bandwidth, high-quality video communications, phone calls, or chat functions, medical advisors can connect with ships’ crews in an instant to evaluate and diagnose patients before recommending a treatment plan based on their specific condition or health concern.
If the injury is serious enough to warrant hospital admission, the medical professional can at the very least provide emergency support to reduce the likelihood of medical complications until further treatment can be sought. In many cases, telemedicine can eliminate the need for the vessel to divert, saving the ship time and money while ensuring seafarers receive the highest quality medical care.
A doctor in your pocket
VIKAND’s telemedical service also enables continuous monitoring of a crew’s physical and mental health through its House Doctor feature. Captains receive a call from a medical professional once a month to check on the health of the crew. In this way issues can be picked up early before an emergency situation is reached and it also means captains feel comfortable and confident accessing VIKAND’s healthcare services when needed.
While face-to-face consultations remain the gold standard, several recent studies conclude that video chat shows great promise as a supporting or alternative evaluation method, in terms of both clinical efficacy and patient satisfaction.
One area that is increasingly gaining attention in the maritime industry is mental health. Through VIKAND’s service, emotional support and counselling is offered 24/7. Captains and their crews are provided with easy access to professional maritime psychologists, referrals, and follow-up services to help them cope with the mental and emotional stresses they often face at sea.
Crew can also access a self-assessment function to help them to better understand their own mental health. The goal of the assessment is to encourage seafarers and captains to seek help rather than powering through. All assessments and calls are fully confidential, allowing users to discuss uncomfortable topics in a secure and trusted environment.
By combining telemedicine with a proactive approach and the latest in medical device technology, VIKAND believes that its telemedical service fundamentally benefits crew members, ship owners, and the wider maritime industry.
The winners of each category will be determined by an online public vote, which is now live, and will be announced during the Crew Welfare Week on 20th June 2023.