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Telemedicine for the Marine Industry

A merchant ship at sea is one of the most challenging environments in which to provide healthcare. Recent legislation in the form of the Maritime Labour Convention requires ship owners to offer seafarers a level of medical care as close as possible to that available onshore. This paper examines the costs to the shipping industry of providing healthcare, and handling medical emergencies, and explores the role which telemedicine can play in on board healthcare provision and crew welfare.