Smart wearable technology is helping to relieve the stranded crewing issue and assisting seafarers with onboard maintenance
Singapore-based internet of things (IoT) developer KaHa has trialled using smart wearables on seafarers to enable safe crew changes and Covid-19 quarantine.
It completed trials of its digital monitoring solution with medical partners Aventus Medical Care and the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines as part of the Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience (SG-STAR) fund call-for-trials proposals. More than 170 seafarers participated in the trial for three months.
KaHa created the digital solution to provide the maritime industry with greater confidence in the health of seafarers and to accelerate the process for safe and secure crew changes. It wanted to demonstrate seafarers’ adherence to safety guidelines and enable a transparent quarantine process, with accurate documentation for industry stakeholders.
KaHa’s digital monitoring solution is a fully integrated, smart-health platform consisting of a tamper-proof smart wearable device, mobile phone application, geofence locator, remote monitoring dashboard and automatic alerts.
Powered by Cove, KaHa’s proprietary IoT platform, it provides round-the-clock monitoring and detailed record logs of a seafarer’s wellbeing combining key vitals tracking, such as temperature, heart rate, SPO2 measurements, activity levels and sleep patterns.
With highly accurate indoor geofencing, automated geofence quarantine monitoring and health symptoms monitoring, it analyses and triangulates information collected and is able to detect abnormalities and assess risks. Authorised stakeholders are notified of any abnormalities and quarantine breaches in real-time via instant messages for quick intervention. Further screening will then be conducted via an in-app questionnaire for vitals and health symptoms breaches.
KaHa co-founder and chief executive Pawan Gandhi said the next stage is to deploy this technology across various industries. “The success of our trial has positive ramifications far beyond the maritime industry, as workplaces across all sectors see a return to the office,” he said. “We are looking forward to a global rollout of our platform in the coming months.”
IEC Telecom has developed a portable digital telemedicine kit, video surveillance software and now a solution to support remote working on ships. It collaborated with DigiGone to introduce OneAssist for virtual support of seafarers undertaking installations and repairs on ships using a hands-free kit.
OneAssist uses a vessel’s satellite communications service, which IEC Telecom provides, to enable shore engineers to assist seafarers. It is an optimised hands-free video solution designed with the specific requirements of remote workers in mind. Field personnel can share snapshots of ongoing onsite issues and receive live technical assistance from shore experts. They can easily access their organisations’ knowledge resources via a secure communications link.
Fully aligned with IoT data visualisation, it offers noise cancellation and speech recognition in loud areas for safe and remote support.
OneAssist was developed as part of IEC Telecom’s OptiConnect suite, which already includes OneHealth, a portable digital telemedicine kit; OneMonitor, video surveillance software with advanced remote access; and OneTeam, an application for videoconferencing.
“Remote maintenance and control offer real-time monitoring of a company’s assets and help to keep costs low,” said IEC Telecom chief executive for Asia, Middle East and CIS Nabil Ben Soussia. “You cannot expect to remain competitive without remote maintenance technology in today’s business environment,” he said.
“Sending a technician to physically assess and fix a problem involves costly logistics and expenses, such as fuel, insurance, and inherent labour costs, which can add up quickly. It is far more effective to utilise remote systems that function even in low bandwidth environments and are extremely user-friendly,” Mr Soussia added.
DigiGone president Michael Dunleavy can also see the benefits of implementing remote support. “With increasing need and capability to reach remote locations worldwide, integrating with IEC Telecom’s OneAssist will provide cost efficiencies and lifesaving solutions to the customers we serve,” said Mr Dunleavy.
“Minimising risk, providing reliable access, and improving our client’s reach are at the core of our solutions.”
SG-STAR Fund is a global, ground-up tripartite initiative with international partners including the International Transport Workers’ Federation, the International Maritime Employers’ Council and the International Chamber of Shipping.
It works with stakeholders in seafaring nations on concrete solutions for safe crew change. International organisations include the Global Maritime Forum Maritime Industry Crew Change Taskforce, Intertanko, Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, and World Shipping Council. Port authorities from Abu Dhabi, Antwerp, Barcelona, Hamburg, Kobe, Montreal, Rotterdam, Sines, Sohar, Tokyo, Vancouver and Yokohama, have pledged to support the SG-STAR Fund’s work.