IntlSOS 30 Years - From East to West - Page 120



International SOS | From East to West
Telemedicine
We have always been keen to keep abreast of
technological developments, and in particular
innovations in telehealth services, to better meet
our clients’ requirements. Telehealth is the delivery
of all health-related services, including information,
via telecommunications technologies. At its simplest
level that could be giving a person information
and advice over the phone. Our Assistance Centres
have been pioneers in this arena, delivering this
from their inception, and of course still do so today.
Doctor looking at x-ray on
computer in London, UK, 2014.
Telemedicine, a branch of telehealth, is the use of
telecommunication and information technologies to
provide clinical healthcare at a distance. This is
clearly a key area for our support of remote medical
services. From providing information over the phone
we advanced to being able to ‘store and forward’; for
example, taking a photo of a patient’s lesion, storing
it as a soft copy file then attaching it to an email.
With further technological advances we were able to
send and receive ECG results, x-rays and radiological
images. This is particularly useful in supporting
doctors and patients on remote sites, or seeking a
second opinion from an expert located elsewhere.
Another development is the ability to have live
video interactions. As more remote sites have
gained access to the internet, and bandwidth
has increased, we have been able to transmit
increasingly sophisticated data and information.
112
As Dr Neil Nerwich points out:
“This very significantly enhances the care we can offer.
The remote site medical professional and patient are
able to receive improved remote medical support and
that in turn can improve the overall outcome, including
the urgency of medical evacuations.”
Philippe Arnaud adds “we are working with best in
class providers to deliver this video capability. This
is another example of our strategy of working with
partners as we continuously seek to innovate and
enhance our global products and services with
new technologies. We call this our ‘Going Digital’
programme.”
We have implemented these leading-edge video
conferencing solutions for key clients such as Shell,
Exxon and Noble Drilling on 30 remote sites.
This has grown from just two remote sites in 2011.
Our IHMS sites also utilise the technology to
access specialists.
During our Kara Sea project with Exxon, the medical
and operations teams in our London Response
Centre* ran live video conferencing, via satellite
connections, directly to the medical rooms on the
vessels. These vessels were deep inside the Arctic
Circle, several days travel from the nearest hospital,
making this enhanced medical support invaluable.
The telemedicine solution also featured advanced
diagnostic equipment, including an x-ray system
that could capture an image on-site, then transmit
it via satellite to a radiologist for specialist review,
as well as to our own medical team.
*Our Response Centres provide dedicated occupational health
support to our offshore clients – including specialist medical
advice, treatment triage guidance and best practices in
occupational health planning. We have five International SOS
Response Centres worldwide: In Johannesburg, London,
Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, and Rio de Janeiro.

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