Cruise ship launches "On Board Virtual Emergency Room"

Austin 01 June 1998 The Grand Princess cruise liner sails the Mediterranean Sea under the safe protection of SeaMed, an innovative telemedicine application based on digital visual communications technology as developed by Imageview, Inc. and VTEL Corporation. SeaMed links the Princess Cruise Lines' latest pride directly with the emergency department team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles to treat passengers aboard the luxurious and expensive cruise ship, who are suffering from cardiac, pulmonary, orthopaedic or neurologic affections.

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The Grand Princess cruise liner sails the Mediterranean Sea under the safe protection of SeaMed, an innovative telemedicine application based on digital visual communications technology as developed by Imageview, Inc. and VTEL Corporation. SeaMed links the Princess Cruise Lines' latest pride directly with the emergency department team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles to treat passengers aboard the luxurious and expensive cruise ship, who are suffering from cardiac, pulmonary, orthopaedic or neurologic affections.

Imageview designed SeaMed especially to help people with health problems, located in demanding environments at sea. The equipment relies on VTEL's digital visual applications for the transmission of radiographic images, ECG's and various other physiologic data. A two-way video link can be established between the hospital and the ship through satellite, using the high-definition monitor at the heart of the TC2000 Large Group Conferencing System.

Data traffic travels at a speed of 512 Kbps, providing high quality video at thirty frames per second, just by pushing one single button to share the application. An articulating arm to which a lipstick camera is attached, offers the hospital doctor the opportunity to have a detailed look at a specific injury spot or patient problem. The camera is equipped to handle frequent use in videoconferencing sessions.

The SeaMed system has been designed to transform the cruise liner's sick-bay into a professional virtual emergency room in no time. Passengers will feel more at ease when they get the impression of having the specialist's expertise immediately at hand. In future, hospital-based physicians will be able to assist patients face-to-face via satellite on private yachts, commercial shipping and oil platforms thanks to this remote medical communication tool.


Leslie Versweyveld

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