IADC reveals the third nomination in the running for the IADC Safety Award 2019

IADC reveals the third nomination in the running for the IADC Safety Award 2019

26 Aug 2019

In the coming weeks, IADC will publish fourteen nominations in the running to receive the Safety Award 2019 on its website and social media. The winner will be announced on 17 October 2019.

IADC is proud to announce that the third nomination is:

No doctor on board? Van Oord and Boskalis agree: MedAssist gives needed medical support to ships at sea

The MedAssist Skills Application provides offline step-by-step instructions for basic medical skills and procedures on board a ship when there is no doctor present or the ship is at a remote location. The app is a low-cost way for the captain to improve his crew’s medical care when they are far away from professional medical staff and facilities. It also helps maritime employers to comply with international safety regulations and legislation for medical care.

The initiative for this long-distance medical support grew from the experiences of doctors at the Emergency Control - Maritime Training (ECMT) - Training Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. At ECMT each year around 500 captains and officers from various companies, including Boskalis and Van Oord, are trained to perform medical procedures. The requests from Boskalis, Van Oord and other clients for digital training and support materials for their ships, led to the development of this “Skills app”. The Skills app contains the 18 most important (STCW) medical procedures that a captain or officer must be able to perform, such as stitching a wound, setting-up a drip, or stabilising a neck.


The app presents information in an intuitive and simple way, using instructional audio, video and photos that give a step-by-step guide to the safe and professional preparation and execution of medical procedures and after-care. The instructions are based on the use of medical resources available on board.

Another application is the Heart App, which consists of an easy-to-use heart rate monitor and the accompanying software on a tablet. With this app, a captain or officer can make a hospital-quality electrocardiogram in a straightforward way, resulting in a PDF file. With one click this PDF can be sent to a doctor onshore to help making a faster and better diagnosis.

These apps also provide support for on board training for the crew. Personnel should take note of the topics on the apps and, for instance, with the electrocardiogram, time should be taken to practice doing this. The app also provides an overview of important phone numbers for contact with various Radio Medical Services and other practical information that may be urgently needed on board. The app also works offline and can be made available in 45 languages. At present, a patented 2-Way-Augmented Reality Application – called MedAssist Live- is being developed, so an onshore doctor can really work together with the captain to solve a medical problem in real-time.

The cost of the Skills app was only 200 euros per tablet per vessel per year, a reasonable price to pay to safeguard crewmembers. Boskalis and Van Oord have both used these apps and see them as a useful addition to the mandatory medical training that their officers complete on a regular basis. Medassist.online's apps combine medical know-how, practical nautical experience and IT knowledge in a simple and effective way, taking into account the often limited bandwidth on board ships. The apps can be made available on a ship’s server, or on dedicated tablets in a rubber encasing.