Maritime Telemedicine is focused on the shipping / maritime industries, both in Port, Shipyard in Singapore and on the vessels at high seas. The Maritime Doctor has performing Maritime Telemedicine for many years before and is formally registered to perform the Maritime Telemedicine.
Where specific qualifications are prescribed by the relevant regulatory bodies to ensure that Maritime Telemedicine services meet minimum standards, healthcare professionals and staff involved in Maritime Telemedicine should possess the prescribed qualifications and the policies and procedures to ensure that all relevant staff havethe appropriate competencies to practice Maritime Telemedicine safely.
The necessary adoption of remote consultation in the form of Maritime Telemedicine in response to the rapid requirement of avoiding spread of the Covid 19 virus when a patient can be managed and treated if one can render such a service effectively and efficiently without compromise on the accuracy of diagnosis and treatment of the case. In fact, in many incidences, this mode of delivery is found to have profound advantages once the healthcare providers are aware of the shortcomings and steps taken to mitigate the the disadvantages and if not possible, the selected cases could be handle in necessary face to face consultation, visits to the clinic, performing of house call and visits to the vessels.
The digital transformation of healthcare is touching every aspect of our working lives, and the Covid 19 pandemic has only served to accelerate this. This advancement in adoption has made the greatest impact in the way we consult with patients and it would become part of the new normal.
A survey by Medical Protection in November 2020 revealed the following:
UK- 88%, New Zealand – 87%, Caibbean and Bermuda – 68%, South Africa – 60%, Malaysia – 44%, Singapore – 43% and Hong Kong – 34%. The increase in acceptance of this mode of consultation and with the governance and support of the authorities concerned, this will remain one of the advancement in medical practise in the post – Covid 19 era.
Like in any new development, the challenges of Maritime Telemedicine would be overcome with proper physical assessment and the usual investigations would be carried out. With the time and effort saved, such planning of management in fact could be carried out in a more orderly and productive manner and the industry would continue to provide the necessary innovation and technology to enable this advancement in this initiative.
These are useful items in addition to the Medical Chest on ships and to be advised on case by case basis by consultation. There are essential items required for Telemedicine and would enhance the formation of diagnosis and the choice of management of the case and in certification.