Vol 70, No 3 (2019)
Original article
Published online: 2019-10-03

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Design and evolution of the Seafarer’s Health Passport for supporting (tele)-medical assistance to seafarers

Giulio Nittari1, Antonio Arcese2, Gopi Battineni1, Krutika Khuman3, Graziano Pallotta1, Andrea Saturnino3, Fabio Sibilio2, Francesco Amenta12
Pubmed: 31617938
IMH 2019;70(3):151-157.

Abstract

Background: Seafarers undergo periodic medical examination for their employment. This information in most cases is not effectively used when requesting for medical assistance during service on board ships. The medical history of an individual is important for provision of medical care and can be critical to the outcome. There is growing adoption of digital applications and electronic health records that are adding great value to the care provided. The Seafarer’s Health Passport (SHP) is an application specifically designed for improving the quality of medical assistance provided to seafarers both through telemedicine or classic medical check-ups in ports/hospitals worldwide. The SHP provides a secure and unique way to archive and retrieve the seafarer’s medical history in an electronic support. 

Materials and methods: The SHP that we have developed is a product with specific hardware and software specifications. The basic features of this software are Linux operating system Debian/Ubuntu, Apache Web server 2.x, Server database MySQL/Maria DB PHP programming language 5.6.xx, and secure connection in https. 

Results: The SHP represents a helpful hint to physicians providing medical advices to seafarers enabling them to make more decisions that are informed and curtailing possible complications due to misdiagnosis. 

Conclusions: Provision of high quality medical assistance requires knowledge of patient’s medical history. The availability of an easy access and friendly use system of own medical history is useful for a population of travellers, such as seafarers to guarantee a reasonable level of medical care at any time. 

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