Telemedicine to Debut Aboard Costa Concordia

MIAMI, FL, Nov 19 – Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, will debut telemedicine aboard the Costa Concordia beginning in early 2009. A broadband satellite system has been installed, final touches are being made on a telemedicine suite and training is being completed for staff involved in the project. The telemedicine project is the result of a collaboration between Costa Cruises, TELESAL – Telecomunicazioni per la salute (Telecommunication for Health), Genoa’s Galliera Hospital, the Genoese engineering company D’Appolonia and C.I.R.M. (Centro Internazionale Radio Medico, or International Radio Medical Center).

TELESAL is creating a telemedicine suite onboard the Costa Concordia, which will enable enhanced health care with advanced medical technology around the clock in the sea-going environment. Testing of the system will commence in the early months of 2009 on the Costa Concordia (114,500 tons, 3,000 double occupancy capacity) when the ship is deployed on 10- and 11-night cruises to Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Cyprus.

The assistance provided onboard by the new service will allow for diagnosis and consultation at a distance for first aid, toxicology, cardiology, radiology, dermatology and ophthalmology with the collaboration of Genoa’s Galliera Hospital. This will involve coordination of the hospital’s general medicine, surgery and emergency department, headed by Dr. Paolo Cremonesi, with the support of its IT and Telecommunications Services, and under the direction of the Galliera Health Authority. The innovative new service will consist of the exchange of medical data (experimentation will include dermatological, ophthalmologic and radiological images, electrocardiograms, scans), which can be shared via videoconferencing in order to enable real-time consultation between shipboard medical personnel and the Galliera health professionals.

“It is part of our mission to be at the forefront in all aspects of our activity, so we can’t help feeling proud to contribute to the first experiment in telemedicine at sea in Europe,” announced Costa Cruises President Gianni Onorato. “This is a highly innovative and extremely important project; the aim of this European first is to further enhance the quality of the service for our guests and crew. For this reason we’ve decided to launch the experimentation on our flagship Costa Concordia. We hope in the future to be able to extend the telemedicine installation project with fleetwide deployment and the involvement of hospitals around the world.

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