International SOS and Johns Hopkins International sign co-operative agreement for remote emergency medical services

Philadelphia 14 October 2002International SOS, a large medical and security assistance company and Johns Hopkins International, the organisation within Johns Hopkins Medicine charged with advancing the Johns Hopkins mission of teaching, research, and patient care internationally, have signed a co-operative agreement concerning emergency medical services. The agreement provides SOS with access to Johns Hopkins' Department of Emergency Medicine and its extensive expertise in directing emergency patient care at a distance using telecommunications and telemedicine to handle complex emergency cases. Johns Hopkins International will also provide SOS with second opinion consultations and access to their emergency protocols.

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International SOS provides its clients with aero-medical evacuation and emergency assistance services worldwide 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. SOS sees the new relationship as an important step forward in ensuring the highest quality medical management for its clients, particularly in cases involving immediate medical assessment of patients in an in-flight medical emergency or located in remote sites.

"Through our aviation programme, we are taking calls from aircraft that have a medical emergency on board and need to know quickly if they may have to divert", explained Dr. Myles Druckman, International SOS Vice President Medical Assistance, Philadelphia. "Now, we will be able to connect the aircraft and our Philadelphia Alarm Center with the Johns Hopkins' specialist by telephone, or via telemedicine link if the aircraft has the equipment."

From the SOS Philadelphia Alarm Center, information can be routed in real time to any of the 25 other SOS Alarm Centers around the world including key locations in London, Singapore, Johannesburg, Beijing, Sydney, and Tokyo. This brings Johns Hopkins' medical expertise and quality control to SOS members in need of immediate assistance and possibly emergency evacuation.

"It is our goal to find innovative ways in which international patients, physicians, and institutions can benefit from the excellence of Johns Hopkins Medicine", explained Steve Thompson, CEO of Johns Hopkins International.

According to Jim Williams, International SOS COO, Philadelphia, this new opportunity "will enhance the medical management services SOS offers to the aviation industry, insurance companies, and other organisations, as well as to our clients at remote site locations". SOS manages the medical services at over 160 remote site clinics, including China's Xingjiang western province, Irian Jaya in Indonesia, offshore Sakhalin on Russia's Pacific coastline, and in central Africa.

Besides emergency in-flight assistance, the agreement calls for the use of Johns Hopkins International expertise to provide quality assurance for the 21 SOS International Clinics operated exclusively for SOS members in locations around the globe such as Moscow, Beijing, Jakarta, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City.

SOS will also have access to Johns Hopkins educational programmes, helping enable SOS doctors and clinicians worldwide to keep abreast of the latest medical advancements through their interactive GlobalAccess Video-Lectures by Johns Hopkins physicians.

International SOS has a full time staff of 2600 professionals including 250 physicians operating in 26 Alarm Centers and 21 International Clinics around the world, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. SOS clients include the majority of Fortune 500 companies as well as insurance companies, credit card programmes, speciality travel programmes, aviation companies, universities, government agencies, and NGOs.

Johns Hopkins International works with international patients, physicians, and institutions to bring the best of Johns Hopkins Medicine in research, education, training and clinical services to the world community. Johns Hopkins is the largest recipient of biomedical research grants from the National Institutes of Health.

The Johns Hopkins Department of Emergency Medicine, a Level I Adult Trauma Center, currently sees more than 50.000 acute visits per year. Johns Hopkins was one of the pioneers of emergency medicine, with Hopkins researchers developing the cardiopulmonary resuscitation technique in 1961 and championing its use by medical personnel and paramedical personnel on ambulance teams.


Leslie Versweyveld

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