Telemedicine - Is It Beneficial for the Seafarers?


What Is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine can be described as the remote delivery of healthcare service that includes both health assessments and consultations. The process allows the healthcare service providers to easily detect, diagnose, and treat a patient without any in-person visit.

In simple words, it can be further stated that telemedicine features the use of medical information that's exchanged to evaluate and improve a patient's health. As mentioned earlier, a patient doesn't need to come and visit a physician's chamber if he/she is receiving medicinal advice/consultation through telemedicine.

Advanced technology, for example, video conferencing and audio conferencing are primarily used for telemedicine. Considering the notable benefits of telemedicine (such as remote patient monitoring and better convenience), it's now being widely used among the seafarers and maritime professionals.

Please note, according to a recent research study report, around 98% of seafarers have admitted that the use of telemedicine can treat emergency medical conditions and even save lives. Especially, for those vessels that do not have an onboard medical supervisor, the benefits of telemedicine are absolutely unquestionable.

The Usage of Telemedicine – and the Benefits to Seafarers. 

In its early days, telemedicine was originally adopted for the soldiers and military professionals as well as in rural areas where the residents do not have a direct access to a nearby medical facility.

But the benefits of telemedicine to the seafaring community quickly became obvious.    Seafarers have a pretty hectic work schedule and due to the critical nature of their job, they encounter a myriad of health-related issues, starting from stress and depression to epidemic diseases and Musculoskeletal Disorder – please see our earlier blogs.

Each of these potential health concerns may turn into a permanent disability if they are not treated on time. For example, if an illness or injury occurs at sea, then the main concern becomes how the seafaring community will provide an adequate care? Or, how can they handle a critical medical emergency?

So, the underlying concern is -- how can the seafaring community receive the much-needed healthcare support when they are away from their homeland and traveling in a vessel? In such situations, the remote delivery of healthcare service using the telemedicine facility becomes the most convenient, viable, and appropriate solution.

Needless to mention, telemedicine is considered to be the most convenient way of receiving the healthcare assistance for the seafarers. It doesn't require to schedule a pre-appointment or in-person visit to a doctor's office. In fact, seafarers can receive top-quality healthcare service promptly and efficiently with the help of telemedicine.

An experienced and trained medical consultant will evaluate and assess their medical conditions via phone calls, video conferencing, or live chat and recommend/advise them the best-possible solution to cope up with the situation.

The Final Takeaway:

The increasing rate of potential chronic diseases among the seafaring community has become a major challenge. Telemedicine will provide seafarers a better and easier way to maintain control of their overall health. In addition to this, it's a valuable tool for receiving preventative healthcare support.

Mayfair, we care.