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Ørsted Adopts Advantech’s AMiS-22 Telehealth Suitcase to Enable Remote Healthcare on Offshore Wind Farms

1/17/2022

Ørsted, a global offshore wind leader, is going full speed ahead with the construction of Taiwan’s first large scale and far shore wind farms — the massive 900 MW Greater Changhua 1 and 2a Offshore Wind Farms located 35-60 kilometers off the coast of Taiwan.

Harnessing the power of strong offshore winds to create renewable energy involves negotiating difficult environmental challenges, heavy machinery, and complex construction operations. To protect the wellbeing of crew working offshore, it is crucial to establish a safe working environment and provide on-site medical care.

Supporting the construction of the Greater Changhua 1 and 2a Offshore Wind Farms is a construction support vessel (CSV) owned by Norwegian offshore vessel operator Solstad Offshore. Similar to a floating hotel, this CSV is deployed to accommodate the crew and teams of technicians throughout the construction period. As is typical of the offshore industry, most crew members work and live on the offshore CSV.

In terms of on-site medical care, a trained medic is employed on the CSV to provide basic medical care to crew members. Should the medic wish to consult a doctor for advice or to confirm their proposed treatment, there is a designated support clinic in Norway that the medic can contact 24/7. Meanwhile, for emergency situations that necessitate medical attention at a hospital, the patient will be taken ashore and transferred to the nearest hospital, which is Tungs' Taichung Metro Harbor Hospital. However, emergency transportation to Tungs' Taichung Metro Harbor Hospital typically takes approximately 2 to 4 hours and involves berth reservation, vessel docking, and transfer from the harbor to hospital. During this process, it is difficult to maintain communication with the hospital or provide updates regarding the patient’s condition.

To address this issue, Ørsted decided to deploy a portable telemedicine kit on the CSV. The telemedicine kit they selected was Advantech’s AMiS-22 telehealth suitcase. This telehealth solution features a 10.1” industrial-grade, all-in-one tablet equipped with a two-megapixel camera, omnidirectional microphone and speakers, a digital scope, wireless ultrasound probe, digital stethoscope, and 12-lead portable ECG machine.

In the event of a serious incident or emergency, the medic can use the industrial-grade tablet with encrypted video conferencing software to contact a doctor, who can conduct a full clinical evaluation in real time. The medic can also use the wireless ultrasound probe and ECG machine to capture ultrasound images and measure heart rate, while the digital stethoscope can be used to record, stream, and playback heartbeat and breathing sounds. With the video conferencing function, this live data of the patient’s vital signs and condition can be reviewed by the doctor to coordinate a rapid diagnosis. The doctor can then provide remote treatment guidance to the onboard medic or recommend a transfer to the nearest hospital.

During hospital transfers, the AMiS-22 telehealth solution can also be used to provide remote telemedical support. Specifically, the doctor can continue to monitor the patient throughout the transfer process to ensure their condition does not deteriorate. Meanwhile, the medic can provide medical personnel in the emergency room with updates on the patient’s condition, enabling them to prepare the appropriate intervention prior to the patient’s arrival for the best chance of recovery.

After Advantech’s AMiS-22 telehealth suitcase was deployed on the CSV, the onboard medic commented, “This is a great tool that enables real-time contact with a doctor, which has been especially valuable during the COVID-19 pandemic as crew members sometimes remain on the CSV for extended periods. Having suitable tools to respond to any medical situation is very important. The crew would feel safer knowing that we have the ability to consult with doctors in real time. Plus, there is no gap in medical support during transfers to the hospital.”

The offshore wind industry has faced serious challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the most important of which is the potential health risks for seafarers working offshore. The use of innovative healthcare technology such as an AMiS-22 telehealth suitcase not only provides prompt access to quality medical care when required, but also gives crew members peace of mind because they know there is a virtual walk-in clinic on the CSV.

Medic use digital stethoscope to detect abnormal lung sounds from the back

Medic use the digital dermatoscope to capture the image on the skin and share with remote doctor