Marlink Telemedicine Service Supports Crew During COVID-19 Outbreak


Published Apr 14, 2020 2:33 PM by Marlink

As the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak continues to cause serious health risks and business disruption globally, Marlink’s telemedicine solution XChange Telemed could help to reduce risk considerably. 

In these turbulent times, the potential benefits that XChange Telemed can deliver are significant: 

  • Essential, remote diagnostics are considerably simplified: the patient can be examined via videolink without the need for physical contact with a nurse or doctor
  • Straightforward, remote follow-up can take place with doctors, public or private hospitals
  • Regular preventive screenings can be administered to crew onboard, with automatic transmission of the medical data to the hospital 

These features not only support companies to reduce risk, look after their crew wellbeing and meet regulatory guidelines, but can also help reduce panic and put crew members at ease by demonstrating good practice - meaning business at sea is business as usual. 

Marlink’s XChange Telemed is a telemedicine service designed to improve the health and safety of crew and passengers at sea, while meeting the new ILO/MLC and IMO/STCW labor regulations for health and medical treatment on board. The system provides a cost-effective way for companies to manage both regular and emergency medical consultations for the welfare of crew and passengers, thereby supporting medical health at sea and reducing the risk of spiraling costs incurred due to medical emergencies on board.

XChange Telemed delivers instant remote medical support to vessels by doctors on shore. To ensure that crew and passengers receive fast, effective and interactive medical attention, the service includes a reinforced, vibration-proof hard-case Telemedical Station with CE certified medical equipment, an intuitive touch-screen user interface and an HD camera. Medical equipment provided includes electro cardiograph, blood pressure monitor, pulse oximeter and one or several of the following options: Otoscope, dermascope, stethoscope, ultrasound, eye analyzer, dental examination camera, glucometer and thermometer. Clear instructions and reference diagrams are enclosed to assist the remote user with data capture, viewing and sending.

The system features embedded live video consultation. In addition, the integrated, secure patient file management system can incorporate information from pre-boarding interviews (e.g. allergies, family history) and medical backgrounds. 

Using the medical data transmitted and live video consultation functions, the doctor may be able to advise a treatment right away or ask pertinent questions in order to establish a diagnosis quickly. Considering that the health officer will be e.g. the captain or another officer and not a primary health professional, the video link can also be used by the doctor to remind them how to use the diagnostic equipment and keep calm and well-protected in a stressful situation.

Complete service

With XChange Telemed and the reliable broadband link on Marlink’s Sealink VSAT, unnecessary diversions or helicopter evacuations may be avoided by diagnosing and treating crew illnesses and injuries on board, with frequent follow-up by the remote doctor. While reducing downtime and improving comfort for a sick or injured person on board, the service also provides traceability of the performed actions.

Importantly for ship-owners, XChange Telemed requires no up-front investment. Service continuity, hardware and software maintenance are all included in a single monthly subscription fee. The service managed though Marlink XChange service delivery platform is configured to run as a top priority, taking precedence over other applications, to ensure highest possible availability.

Learn more by viewing the XChange Telemed video on Marlink’s website: https://marlink.com/products/xchange-telemed/ 

This article is sponsored by Marlink, the largest technology-independent satellite communication provider. Marlink offers Ku, Ka, C and L-band connectivity services extended with hybrid networks.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.