PACIFIC OCEAN (March 9, 2018) Lt. Cmdr. Art Ambrosio, left, observes as Hospitalman John Meeks conducts a cricothyroidostomy on a mock patient during a procedural mentorship scenario aboard the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19). Mercy is deployed in support of Pacific Partnership 2018, whose mission is to work collectively with host and partner nations to enhance regional interoperability and disaster response capabilities, increase stability and security in the region, and foster new and enduring friendships across the Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelsey L. Adams/Released)
GlobalMed powers 1st telehealth consults aboard a Navy ship
GlobalMed, a Scottsdale-based international provider of telehealth solutions, announced that the U.S. Navy recently used GlobalMed’s technology to conduct its first-ever portable telemedicine broadcast from a ship at sea, transmitting vital signs and ear, nose, throat, head/neck skin examinations from the U.S. Navy hospital ship Mercy.
On March 9, the Navy also used GlobalMed’s platform in its first-ever “tele-procedural mentorship,” enabling a medically certified naval officer aboard the ship to place a tourniquet and perform a needle thoracostomy and a cricothyroidotomy. “Hospitalman” John Meeks was guided remotely by Lieutenant Kastley Marvin, an otolaryngology resident and the resident virtual health research lead, who tele-mentored Meeks from Naval Medical Center San Diego.
GlobalMed recently earned the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Authority to Operate (ATO) on DoD networks, becoming the first provider of HIPAA-compliant virtual health to obtain an ATO. This coveted certification enables GlobalMed to put its telehealth applications, hardware and software directly on the DoD network, making its solutions available to the Military Health System (MHS). Besides providing medical care in combat situations and at bases overseas, the system treats patients in 57 hospitals and 400 clinics.
Telehealth has proven to be a cost-effective alternative to onsite care in these military facilities, which cannot meet the healthcare needs of all active duty service people, their dependents, and retirees. Telehealth also increases access to care for those service members and military families who live a significant distance away from the nearest MHS facility. Similarly, as the Mercy demonstration showed, the technology can provide remote access to specialists who are not on staff in hospital ships.
“The Navy is to be congratulated for its use of portable telemedicine broadcasts while a hospital ship is underway,” said Joel E. Barthelemy, founder and CEO of GlobalMed and a Marine veteran. “The Navy’s use of our virtual health equipment to remotely guide a hospitalman through the placement of a chest tube and the surgical opening of an airway is particularly impressive. Telehealth will help the Navy better care for its personnel as they pursue their missions around the world.”