The Online Boating and Maritime Exhibition

#13 - Personal Safety

Offshore Telemedicine for All


Can telemedicine saves shipowners money? (Courtesy of Martek Marine)

UK-based Martek Marine has launched its latest in telemedicine—iVital. The system won’t just save lives, but also could save shipowners money. Charlie Whyman, head of marketing, spoke to NauticExpo e-magazine.


NE e-mag: How does iVital work?

Charlie Whyman: The medically certified hardware and software can be used by anyone. Wireless sensors are simply attached to the patient and vital signs data is transmitted automatically to the clinician onshore, avoiding the possibility of incorrect data input.

Courtesy of Martek Marine

iVital (Courtesy of Martek Marine)

The clinician examines the data and the person’s medical history, and has a video consultation with the patient. This allows for a quick and accurate diagnosis.

Following diagnosis, the clinician can advise on the best course of action. In very serious cases, this might be a medical evacuation or diversion to a land-based medical facility. Alternatively, scheduled follow-up appointments might be recommended to ensure professional follow-up while the patient manages the condition during recovery.

NE e-mag: Who can use this system?

Charlie Whyman: Anyone can use iVital, as it’s incredibly easy to use and intuitive. The system requires only very basic levels of training, and intelligent software prompts guide the operator. Seafarers with experience using a tablet and Skype will find the system comparatively easy to use.

NE e-mag: Are there particular vessel requirements for installing iVital?

Charlie Whyman: Since it’s portable, iVital is not physically installed. The vessel just requires a VSAT or robust 4G connection.

Courtesy of Martek Marine

iVital comes in a briefcase-sized portable pack and can be used anywhere in the world (Courtesy of Martek Marine)

NE e-mag: What’s the target market?

Charlie Whyman: Our system is suitable for all vessels, and offers particular benefits to those without a medical professional onboard. Continuing a voyage when a crew member falls ill could result in complications, while vessel diversion or medical evacuation can lead to significant costs and delays.

The beauty of iVital, which comes in a briefcase-sized portable pack, is that it’s suitable for a ship of any type and size, and can be used anywhere in the world.

“iVital is cost-effective and accessible, it costs under $10 per day.”

The 24/7 access to clinical consultants via Skype and phone, and a unique onboard assessment of crew member history and current medical status mean that crew get access to the best healthcare in the world, no matter where they are and what vessel they’re on.

NE e-mag: What’s the monthly fee?

Charlie Whyman: The only other maritime telemedicine solution costs a fortune, meaning it’s not a viable option for many. Available with no capital investment, iVital is cost-effective and accessible. It costs under $10 per day!

About the Author

Samantha Fisk worked at RINA (The Royal Institution of Naval Architects) for 7 years and has now gone into freelance, working for European magazines.

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