Maritime Physician Advice at Sea

Maritime Physician Advice at Sea

Telemedicine is the use of electronic communication to provide diagnosis and/or clinical care between the medical provider and the patient in a remote location. In the case of Future Care, we call this maritime telemedicine, where the patient is the seafarer, onboard a ship, at sea.


Future Care’s Physician Advice At Sea program is designed to respond to the specialized circumstances encountered in providing remote medical treatment to the injured or ill seafarer while onboard ship. We also offer primary healthcare or a complete wellness program through Physician Advice At Sea. Our 24 hours, 7 days a week Contact Center provides immediate and continuous access to our world-wide network of physicians, nurses, medically-trained first responders and other medical professionals.


Our Physician Advice At Sea program is the result of Future Care’s over 25 years’ experience in formulating medical management protocols specifically designed for the maritime community’s special needs. Our global network of physicians and other treatment providers are expert in evaluating shipboard injury and illness. They are adept in determining whether onboard treatment is sufficient and consistent with the highest quality care necessary, or if land-based treatment and/or emergency evacuation or deviation is required. Future Care provides specialist physicians in a wide array of disciplines, as required, including cardiologists, orthopedists and diving recovery, to name but a few.


In many instances, our physician advisors are able to diagnose and treat the seafarer onboard the vessel, using the ship’s medicine chest. Future Care’s physician advisors, with the crewman’s assent, are frequently able to clear the seafarer to return to duty, without ever leaving the ship.


By providing immediate medical diagnosis and treatment Future Care’s Physician Advice At Sea promotes crew health and saves the shipowner money. When medically appropriate, treating shipboard injury or illness onboard can shorten recovery time, postpone or eliminate the necessity of shore-side treatment, and avoid costly and unnecessary deviation or emergency evacuations.


Unlike free government telemedical services, or some of those run by individual hospitals, Future Care’s Physician Advice At Sea is part of a complete management response to shipboard medical needs. Our Continuity of Care program assures that the seafarer’s medical treatment is managed from onboard the ship to the hospital through repatriation and convalescence. Future Care’s medical case management and other services incorporated in our Caring for the Crew® program ensure that treatment is efficiently and timely managed throughout all phases, by the same team that is familiar with the crewman’s condition from the onset of the incident.


For vessel operators enrolled in our Caring for the Crew® program, we will assign a physician or nurse case manager, to co-ordinate admission to our network hospital or other treatment facility; review course of treatment with the shore-based providers through to discharge; arrange out-patient care, accommodation, and repatriation, arrange for provision of medications, and monitor the crewmember’s post discharge therapy and physician visits until maximum medical care is realized, as appropriate.


Future Care’s Physician Advice At Sea program reduces the shipowner’s overall medical claims cost, both below and above the insurance deductible. Future Care’s telemedical program reduces costly litigation through improving the speed and quality of medical care provided to the shipowner’s crew.


Future Care’s Physician Advice At Sea program literally saves lives.




Please explore our other services, summarized on our Caring for the Crew® Program page.