A new strategic relationship is developing a video-enabled telemedicine solution to serve the global maritime industry.
Developed by Future Care (New York, NY, USA), a leading provider of health management services to the maritime community, and Globecomm Maritime (Cedar Knolls, NJ, USA), a top provider of maritime communications solutions, the Future Care Live solution combines Future Care's “Caring for the Crew” program with Globecomm's video streaming software to provide a new level of medical care to commercial vessel and yachting crews during emergency illness or injury at sea, as well as to respond to routine healthcare needs.
The new telemedicine solution uses the video streaming properties of Globecomm's Access Chat Plus to create a virtual emergency room (ER), allowing simultaneous remote participation of network general and specialist physicians, hospital treatment staff, a Future Care case manager, ship owner representatives and family members, as needed, while onboard ship at sea. Originally developed for military use, Future Care Live meets the requirements of the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and other international standards for the electronic transmission of private medical information.
“Telemedicine is a truly shared benefit—to the ship and yacht owner, ship manager, as well as to individual crew members—and in ways not imaginable a few short years ago,” said Christina DeSimone, president and CEO of Future Care. “Seafarers will benefit from the virtual presence of Future Care's network physicians and other medical professionals onboard ship while the ship owner and his P&I Club [Protection and indemnity insurance] will save in medical costs, time lost, and avoidance of deviation.”
“Shipowners and managers are more than ever focused on the 'human factor' as the key to safe and efficient operations,” said Malcolm McMaster, president of Globecomm Maritime. “Until now, this realization has lacked the mechanism to truly provide innovative services like telemedicine. Putting Access Chat Plus together with Future Care creates the opportunity to deliver a service that can improve healthcare for mariners and also be highly cost effective.”