MSC Cruises ceo, Gianni Onorato announced the project with Giannina Gaslini Institute director general, Paolo Petralia today in Genoa.
‘MSC Cruises is a family-owned company and we strongly believe in caring for the health and safety of our guests on board, with particular attention to younger travellers. The latter represents about 10% of our passengers annually, numbering around 160,000 youngsters ranging from 0 to 17 years old’, said Onorato.
‘For the first time, the expertise of our specialists is being made available beyond the walls of the Gaslini,’ said Petralia. ‘This enables onboard doctors to confirm their diagnoses and treatments using a system of remote image and data transmission.’
MSC Sinfonia will be the first ship to offer the service, followed by Musica and Splendida. The plan is to have the care system installed fleet-wide by September.
The telemedicine technology is managed by the Carestream Italian branch, based in Genoa, which as a first ship application, has developed a web platform to enable requests for distance consultation to be made easily from the remotest locations, allowing Gaslini doctors to move quickly with diagnoses and referrals.
The process is fully computerized, from the consultation request to the response. Once fully operational, MSC Cruises’ onboard doctors will be able to consult specialist paediatricians at any time to seek a second opinion or carry out procedures such as remote diagnosis, radiology and monitoring.
To cope with the increased data traffic via satellite communications systems, MSC is increasing the onboard bandwidth by around 20%, said Onorato.
The complete package involves an initial investment by MSC Cruises of about €500,000.