Ship to Shore Ultrasound Telemedicine: Successful Trials by Using Inmarsat

by OldSailor on October 3, 2008



Day is not far, for the seafarers and the passengers at sea to avail advanced medical facilities that are now available only on shore. Recently, Ship to Shore Ultrasound Telemedicine trials were completed successfully by extensively using Inmarsat’s services. Inmarsat’s distribution partner Vizada and its service provider (SP) Satlink Maritime Services joined together to support the project to diagnose and treat patients at sea. Ultrasound scans at sea were performed and then the results were viewed by ultrasound experts on shore¬† located hundreds of miles away. Inmarsat’s BGAN (Explorer 700) terminal installed on shore and an Inmarsat FleetBroadband 500 in the ship played an active role in this project.


During the Ship to Shore Ultrasound Telemedicine trials, a volunteer from a cruise ship at sea near Cyprus was scanned by a doctor onboard. The ultrasound scan images were then transmitted to shore, using TCP/IP and UDP protocols using an average bandwidth of around 300 kbps to medical experts in Cyprus and France for their opinion. An interactive communication by using multi way video conference via Inmarsat was established between the experts on shore, the vessel’s doctor and the patient to discuss the medical diagnosis. Also as part of a simulated emergency situation, the captain of the vessel was provided with the relevant medical information to decide the next course of action in a real life situation.

The Ship to Shore Ultrasound Telemedicine trials have now increased the confidence of seafarers and passengers at sea that advanced medical facilities are now possible at sea in case of medical emergency.

Read more from Inmarsat and view some photographs at Vizada.

Post in MarineBuzz on this day a year before:

What do International Maritime Signal Flags and Pennants Mean ?

Update: October 23

Volvo Ocean Race doctors at the Volvo Ocean Race HQ used telemedicine through Inmarsat to assess casualty aboard Ericsson 4. Read more from Inmarsat News.

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