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2015 News

November 19, 2015 – Training for any eventuality

August, 2015 – A Case of Remote Telemedicine

July 20, 2015 – ClipperTelemed+ Business Development Manager Tom Bettle discusses his vision for the future of ClipperTelemed+

June 8, 2015 – PRAXES responds to a call for help

May 19, 2015 – PRAXES and Wellington Medical Centre team-up to provide healthcare for students at Columbia International College

April 22, 2015 – PRAXES Medical Group and Clipper Ventures plc launch ClipperTelemed+™ yacht as part of the Clipper Round the World Race 2015-16

March 28, 2015 – Interview with Becky Langille, Clearwater Manager Crewing, Health and Safety

February 17, 2015 – PRAXES takes a ship call

January 14, 2015 – Clipper Ventures plc & PRAXES Medical Group announce ClipperTelemed+™

Training for any eventuality

ClipperTelemed+ medic, Elaine Hargreaves, talks about her experience participating in the medical training led by PRAXES and ClipperTelemed+ in June 2015 to prepare Clipper Race crew for medical emergencies.

Based in Reading, UK, Dr. Elaine Hargreaves holds a PHD in Chemistry, worked as Engagement Manager at Microsoft and is an experienced mountain trekker. Hargreaves was searching for a new challenge and left home in August to take on the vitally important role as the ClipperTelemed+ yacht medic in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2015 – 16. She is the medic for the full duration of the race and is thrilled to be competing in this life-changing adventure. In June 2015, Hargreaves and the ClipperTelemed+ crew members participated in medical training led by PRAXES and ClipperTelemed+ Medical Director, Dr. John Ross. She shared her impressions of the experience with us and her thoughts on the exciting year ahead.

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ClipperTelemed+ Medic Elaine Hargreaves and Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Chairman and Founder, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

What inspired you to get involved with the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race?

Well, the story starts a few years ago. I lost my stepfather after a 25 year battle with cancer and a few months after this happened, I was looking for a new challenge. I’ve done a lot of mountain climbing in the past including Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest base camp and I wanted to do something completely different. A friend of mine inspired me when she bought a boat and sailed it to the Mediterranean and a few years ago, when I did my MBA, we did about two weekends worth of sailing training and races with other colleges. I literally started searching the internet for “yacht races” and the Clipper Race, which I’d never heard of before, was at the top of that search. I applied for the brochure and two Christmases ago, I talked to my mom and said I was going to do it. In early 2014, I sent off my form and had an interview and the rest is history. I’ve been preparing ever since. I started my Clipper Race training from novice last August and did my Level 1 and in October completed Level 2 and in 2015 completed my Level 3 and 4. Now, I’m ready to go and I signed up for the whole of it!

 

You participated in the medical training led by PRAXES and ClipperTelemed+ Medical Director, Dr. John Ross. What were your impressions of this training? Do you think these skills will be helpful over the duration of the race?

The training far exceeded my expectations and one of the reasons why was that we examined case studies from previous races. It was very focused on real life cases that might come up. We went through how to treat people who might be sick or injured and went through the on-board medical kit. We had hands-on experience with real medical equipment doing everything from suturing a pig’s trotter to putting an IV on Dr. Ross and we had the opportunity to ask a ton of different questions. We also went on the boat for the second half of the course and acted out real life scenarios again. I think that knowing that the case studies were real got me really thinking about my role on-board and preparing for what could happen.

 

As the ClipperTelemed+ medic, you will play a vital role supporting the crew’s well-being. Were there specific elements of the training that you found useful?

For me, the preventable aspects were so engaging. As the medic, you want to keep the crew hydrated, wearing sunscreen and safe at all times. You want them to look after themselves, keep healthy and keep clean. That being said, we will be out in the middle of the ocean and the yacht will definitely be tipping to the side and going through extreme situations. I think the case studies helped me to think about calming down a crew member in the event of an incident, relieving their pain and using what you have at your disposal to treat them and reassure them. The case studies really showed that there is a method to dealing with each scenario. I think that’s where we were able to get the confidence that we would be prepared.

 

Do you feel that this training covered the many possible medical scenarios that could arise? 

Dr. Ross acted out with us the possible scenarios of hemothorax, a collapsed lung, a head injury, a heart attack and broken bones among many others.There were some real-life scary scenarios in the last race and there was no holding back in the training. I was really glad because you want to be able to know what to do. We went through each scenario in detail. The other huge confidence builder is knowing that we’re not alone and that after accessing the situation and taking vitals, we will be on the phone with PRAXES and work with them remotely to treat the treat the patient.

 

The race began on August 30th and you have an exciting and challenging year ahead of you. What are you most looking forward to during this journey?

I want to try and just take each leg as it comes but I’m really enjoying those moments when we are far from shore and in the middle of the ocean. I had never crossed an ocean before and I’ve never been to Rio, so I am so excited and looking forward to those aspects among so many other things!

 

A Case of Remote Telemedicine

PRAXES Medical Director, Dr. John Ross, recalls a case of remote telemedicine in which a serious medical incident took place at sea and how the team at PRAXES was able to provide world-class telemedicine support.

At approximately 2 pm, a crewman on a factory fishing ship, located 250 nautical miles offshore on the Grand Banks of Canada’s East Coast, developed chest pain while he was working in the fish processing area. Several minutes later he collapsed and co-workers found him unresponsive with a very slow pulse and laboured breathing. The captain, who had the most advanced medical training on board – advanced first aid, was summoned. At this point, the crewman was responsive but confused, sweaty and complaining of severe crushing chest pain. The captain obtained a heart rate of 40 beats per minute but was unable to get a blood pressure reading. He asked the bridge and ask for someone to contact the Coast Guard and request medical assistance. The bridge crew instead called a medical clinic and spoke with a doctor who recommended giving several sprays of nitroglycerine for the chest pain. Unfortunately, the contact was then lost. The captain arrived back on the bridge, followed proper protocol and contacted St. John Coast Guard Radio, part of Canada’s Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC). They were quickly put in contact with the on-call PRAXES Emergency Specialists physician.

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The captain briefed the physician on the the condition of his crewman and said he believed his patient was having a heart attack. The captain had experienced a heart attack himself, and believed the crewman may have been experiencing similar pain. He told the Praxes physician that a clinic doctor had recommended giving nitroglycerine. However, the on-line doctor was concerned about the slow heart rate and very low blood pressure. Nitroglycerine in that setting could kill the patient. The PRAXES physician explained that it may or may not help with pain symptoms but that it is not an important part of managing a heart attack.

The PRAXES physician and captain decided to administer ASA, a simple but critical treatment in breaking clots in coronary arteries (it is used by all critical care units in the world) that cause heart attacks as well as treatment for the man’s nausea and pain. The captain was next asked to repeat the vital signs regularly. At the same time, the PRAXES physician decided that an emergency medevac was warranted to get the man off the ship and to definitive care as soon as possible. The JRCC began working through the logistics of the medevac. The Canadian Navy’s Search and Rescue (SAR) team was contacted and the captain started heading for shore as the vessel was outside the range for a rescue helicopter.

Further calls between the captain and the PRAXES physician carefully followed the man’s progress. He was moved from the factory floor to the ship’s medical room and the medications began to have some effect. While the chest pain was still present it was now less severe. Fortunately, his vital signs had improved and the vomiting had stopped. During the wait for the helicopter, the PRAXES doctor calmly reassured the captain that he was doing everything possible within the constraints of that austere, remote setting.

Three hours after the initial call, a Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopter arrived, and a SAR Technician was lowered to the deck from the hovering aircraft. The patient was reassessed, loaded onto the stretcher and hoisted onto the aircraft. Two hours later, at the tertiary care hospital, the acute myocardial infarction was confirmed and the patient was taken to the coronary catheterization suite where the partially blocked artery was opened and two stents placed. He made an uneventful recovery and eight months later was back at work – no longer smoking and 20 pounds lighter.

The key components of this successful out come are:

  1. Having a medical kit on board to treat serious medical events – the more sophisticated, the more that can be done.
  2. Having crew members with a minimum of Advanced First Aid training.
  3. Having immediate access to an on-call emergency physician who understands the constraints and challenges of providing care in a marine environment, far from shore, and who is willing to provide decisive advice to an unknown person with basic medical training.
  4. Having highly trained and skilled search and rescue and/or medevac personnel available when emergency medical transport is required.

ClipperTelemed+ Business Development Manager Tom Bettle discusses his vision for the future for ClipperTelemed+

ClipperTelemed+ Business Development Manager, Tom Bettle, discusses his vision for the future of this innovative telemedicine service

For Tom Bettle, transitioning to his role as ClipperTelemed+ Business Development Manager has been truly exciting and his unique skill set has made him a natural fit for the challenging position. Bettle’s business career of nearly thirty years has been in sales and business development within various industry sectors ranging from medical to IT. Since 2002, he has been working in the maritime industry. A former bridge officer, navigator and ocean motor yacht skipper, Bettle holds professional maritime tickets to this day. Maintaining current qualifications enables him to have good maritime domain awareness and a thorough understanding of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Standards of Training Certification and Watch-keeping (STCW) and the requirements of the Maritime Labour Convention. As one of the driving forces behind marketing and branding the ClipperTelemed+ service, Bettle brings an unwavering focus and determination to growing this innovative new business. He took some time to answer a few questions for us on his vision for the future of ClipperTelemed+.

 

With your strong background in business, sales and the maritime industry, you bring a wealth of experience to the role of Business Development Manager. Your energy regarding the ClipperTelemed+ service is infectious. Tell us what excites you most about the launch of this new service?

As a sales professional, you want to have a product which you can believe in.  As a seafarer, you want to have the best facilities available to you even if you never need them. I am a salesman and also keep my maritime certificates up to date.
ClipperTelemed+ truly enhances medical care at sea and brings enormous benefits should you ever be in the position of needing it. I’ve seen the results for myself and the response from crew is quite remarkable. Additionally, I see the business consequences and wonder why isn’t everybody using this! Being part of ClipperTelemed+ from the beginning is like being at the start of what you know will be an extremely exciting voyage and I can’t wait to set the engines to full ahead.

 

ClipperTelemed+ is a global joint venture between PRAXES Medical Group and Clipper Ventures. How did this come about and what power does the Clipper Ventures brand bring to the business?

The business itself screamed out to be set up as a result of the service provided by PRAXES to the crew of the 13/14 Clipper Round the World Race. During the previous races the crews had no remote medical support and this resulted in many trips to shore side hospitals for all manner of injuries and illnesses from quite serious to extremely minor. The results of this was worry and discomfort for crew whilst at sea, lost time ashore and in the case of the 11/12 race some £535,000 in travel insurance claims. The contrast with previous races and the 13/14 race was startling. With the support of the physicians at PRAXES, crew could be treated mid Pacific and be back race fit very shortly after. On-board medics could seek reassurance following an incident and crew confidence grew tenfold. The actual consequences of having PRAXES on-board came to light post race when we realized that despite the same crew demographic and very similar injuries being experienced the number of visits to hospitals ashore had almost halved and the costs to insurers was just £230,000. The enhanced care to crew was frankly obvious, but the business case was also truly dramatic. For the first time in the Clipper Race’s 20 year history we felt compelled to go into business with a sponsor. Using the Clipper Race and brand as a springboard should help take the extremely proven PRAXES suite of services beyond Canada and to the maritime world.

 

How would you describe your position as ClipperTelemed+ Business Development Manager?

My role at ClipperTelemed+ pretty much covers the entire business building function. We are a brand new business, but fortunate enough to have the vast experience and skills of our business partners to rely on. This truly helps open doors, but my main role is to find ways of building those early relationships and eventually turning prospects into long term clients who remain with us year after year because we deliver exactly what we promise – better care and reduced operational costs.

 

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ClipperTelemed+ Business Development Manager,Tom Bettle, addresses the crowd at the launch of the ClipperTelemed+ vessel in April 2015 at Saint Katharine Docks in London, UK.

 

How do you differentiate ClipperTelemed+ from its competitors?

We have a number of key competitors from the national free services operated by coastguards around the world to very professional and very established paid-for services. However, ClipperTelemed+ uniquely stands out for a number of key reasons. Firstly, our service goes way beyond critical emergencies and medevac co-ordination.  Time and time again, PRAXES has proved with their Canadian clients that, in the majority of cases, a vessel diversion or medevac can be avoided by first-class physicians, dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of their patients, taking responsibility and control of the situation.  Through proper diagnosis and treatment unnecessary diversions and medevacs can be avoided and the vessel can continue with the sick or injured seafarer receiving the appropriate treatment on-board. Inevitably, this brings our second differentiator.  More often than not our patient’s injury or illness is not as serious as they had feared leaving us providing a service that completely encompasses medical care at sea. Everything from critical emergency to minor accident to general practice and even occupational health are all areas that our physicians are involved with daily. Their watchful eye on the shoulder of a skilled medic can reassure and boost the confidence of not only the medic, but the patient and the whole crew. Service provision is not the only unique area of our business, but also how we provide it. Most of our competitors only offer annual contracts. ClipperTelemed+ is totally flexible in how we provide our service and we will tailor the term and provision to suit each client – be that a solo ocean yachtsman, a super-yacht owner, a shipping fleet manager or even a yacht race organizer. A tailored service that suits each client for a contract term that works for them can be provided on request.  Ask us and we will listen.

Final differentiator for now, a navy term is to “cross the beach” meaning to come ashore and it is becoming very apparent that due to the first class, but uniquely flexible service we provide it can work in all manner of places from large corporations to schools and colleges and beyond.  Our service works “wherever you dare”.

 

ClipperTelemed+ is available to clients in commercial shipping and the private yacht and super-yacht market. What opportunities in the maritime sector do you see as most promising?

This is a really tough one as the maritime industry is actually rather small but incredibly diverse.  My own private passion is smaller boats and yachts, but from the pure size of the market – commercial shipping is possibly most valuable.  However, in these first few weeks of being operational, we have been taken aback by previously unconsidered markets such as insurance.

 

How has the maritime industry reacted so far to the news of the ClipperTelemed+ service?

Almost without exception, the maritime industry has welcomed us. As in any corporate business, relationships take time to build but the responses we get from those sat across the boardroom table when they see how we can both improve the lives of their seafarers and dramatically reduce their costs is undeniable.

PRAXES responds to a call for help

PRAXES responds to a call for help from a fishing vessel

Listen to actual exchanges between PRAXES staff, Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC), the captain on a ship, and Search and Rescue technician (SARTech).

PRAXES & Wellington Medical Centre team-up to provide healthcare for students at Columbia International College

PRAXES and Wellington Medical Centre team-up to provide healthcare for students at Columbia International College

Doctor Allen Greenspoon has established a notable career as a physician in Hamilton, Ontario, with a special interest in obstetrics and occupational health. As co-founder and owner of the Wellington Medical Centre, Dr. Greenspoon has an entrepreneurial spirit. He has recently joined the team at PRAXES to support the Columbia International College pilot project. By working in tandem with PRAXES, Dr. Greenspoon ensures that the Hamilton-based Columbia school reduces unnecessary emergency room visits for international students, by treating many medical situations with telemedicine services and clinic visits as needed. He took some time to answer a few questions on this exciting project and the developing future of telemedicine.

You have a great deal of experience in primary and occupational health and you recently joined with PRAXES to work on the Columbia International College project. Can you outline your role with PRAXES and what it entails?

Specifically, my role is part of the pilot project with Columbia International College and I take primary telemedicine calls with respect to the healthcare of the students at the college. I’m representing PRAXES here and facilitating the clinic.

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Dr. Allen Greenspoon at the Wellington Medical Centre, Hamilton Ontario.

Why did an opportunity like this appeal to you?

Initially, I had approached Columbia because we had purchased a clinic right next to the school and I thought it would be a great opportunity to become involved in private healthcare. PRAXES became involved with the school through the insurance company Royal & Sun Alliance and I thought it was a great fit. I truly believe that telemedicine is the way of the future so I’m thrilled to be part of this project.

You have a wealth of experience in occupational health as a physician, and entrepreneur. In your opinion, how can telemedicine positively impact the health care system of the future?

I think that telemedicine is going to save a lot of money, and I think that’s very important going forward. There’s only so much money for healthcare. I truly believe that, certainly in occupational health, the downtime when an employee leaves work and goes to a clinic is very disruptive for them and their workplace. If they don’t have to leave and the situation can be handled through telemedicine, I think that’s a win-win. I believe that telemedicine will be rolled-out to the entire healthcare industry very shortly.

From your experience so far, what are the benefits for the school of handling medical incidents “the new way?”

The standard of care has been excellent. We’ve been able to treat many problems through telemedicine that would’ve involved unnecessary and costly visits to the hospital emergency room. I’m privy to the knowledge that during the first three months of this project the costs of healthcare for the Columbia School have decreased dramatically. It’s been a great experience so far for everyone involved.

In your opinion, why is telemedicine an effective and efficient way to assist other clients remotely?

I believe that about 28 states in America have made telemedicine a standard of healthcare and I know certain provinces such as British Columbia and possibly Nova Scotia have been looking at telemedicine as a healthcare opportunity. My son is a radiation oncologist at a major cancer centre and he uses telemedicine for remote radiation oncologists who need help. I truly believe that telemedicine will become a standard practice for healthcare. Even now, the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Ontario have a policy paper on the standard of care necessary in telemedicine. I think that it’s only a matter of time before we’re all practicing telemedicine.

What has your experience been like working with PRAXES so far?

The team at PRAXES is very thorough, conscientious and on-top of everything. The EMR is excellent and if there are any problems I am very quickly connected with PRAXES Operations Manager Michelle Currie or someone who can help. It’s been such a positive experience. The EMR allows you to fax prescriptions, see rashes and produce a report that’s complies with privacy requirements. PRAXES is very professional and I’m enjoying the experience of working with them immensely.

PRAXES Medical Group and Clipper Ventures Plc launch ClipperTelemed+™ yacht as part of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2015 - 16

PRAXES Medical Group and Clipper Ventures Plc launch ClipperTelemed+™ yacht as part of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 2015 – 16

Established in 1997, PRAXES Medical Group was once a small start-up company with an ambitious vision. This drive and determination has led to a successful partnership with the longest ocean race in the world – the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. PRAXES was the Global Emergency Medical Support Partner for the Clipper 13 – 14 Race and will return as Fleet Sponsor for the 2015 – 16 race.ClipperTelemed+

PRAXES is also proud to be the only Canadian sponsor of the Clipper Race. Results from the last race were so strong (improved medical response, reduced insurance costs) that PRAXES and Clipper Ventures Plc have created a joint venture company called ClipperTelemed+™ and entered a yacht in the race. A ClipperTelemed+™ branded yacht will participate in the Clipper Race and was launched at St Katharine Docks in London, UK, on April 17, 2015.

John Hockin and Tom Bettle Clipper TelemedThe tenth edition of the race provides a unique global marketing platform to showcase ClipperTelemed+™ which is powered by the PRAXES remote medical support service and will be provided to more than 600 crew on the race.

ClipperTelemed+™ provides fast and efficient medical support from PRAXES physicians to crew on yachts, super-yachts, commercial ships and exploration rigs. ClipperTelemed+™ uses telecommunications and software tools to connect callers with highly skilled emergency physicians within five minutes, regardless of global location.  John Hockin, VP of Marketing for PRAXES, says the global promotional initiative will be a powerful demonstration of their services.

“ClipperTelemed+™ is an innovative concept built on our experience with the Clipper Race,” says Hockin. “The race is the perfect marketing platform and we’re delighted for PRAXES to continue as the official global medical support partner alongside the new joint venture.”

ClipperTelemed+™ Business Development Manager,Tom Bettle, and PRAXES VP of Marketing, John Hockin, at the ClipperTelemed+™ naming ceremony in London, UK.

With the ClipperTelemed+™ yacht skipper and crew selection to be assigned on April 25, the PRAXES team is looking forward to an exciting year ahead.

About PRAXES

PRAXES is Canada’s premier supplier of telemedicine for government and industrial clients, providing remote medical support for remote and hostile environments globally – ships, mine sites, oil and gas platforms, and even prisons. In addition to the global marine sector, PRAXES is pursuing new opportunities in telemedicine for consumer markets.

About Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the world’s longest ocean race, also known as one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges. The race is 40,000 miles long and takes almost a year to complete. Twelve teams race on a matched fleet of Clipper Race 70 ocean racing yachts.

Established by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in 1996 to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to experience the thrill of ocean racing, it’s the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Approximately 40 per cent of crew have no sailing experience before they sign up to the challenge. This is where everyone from doctors to massage therapists, truck drivers, students, nurses, and landscape gardeners join together to take on Mother Nature’s toughest conditions.

During the Clipper 2013-14 Race, crew members were given rapid diagnosis and valuable expert reassurance by PRAXES emergency physicians, in addition to in-port consultations via private internet video consultations. Crew were given advice on everything from respiratory problems, infections, eye injuries, and rashes, to dislocations and broken ribs. This included emergency advice following a dramatic Man Overboard rescue in the North Pacific Ocean, dealing with a crew member with potential hypothermia, shock and a suspected broken leg.

MEDIA INQUIRIES:

For further information on PRAXES please contact:
John Hockin, VP Marketing +1 (902) 420-9725 X205/Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

Nicole Trask, PRAXES Communications Specialist, +1 (902)email hidden; JavaScript is required

For further information on the Clipper Race please contact: Marina Thomas, Senior Press Officer

UK mobile: +44 7793 417 751/ Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

visit www.clipperroundtheworld.com

Interview with Becky Langille, Clearwater Manager Crewing, Health & Safety

Clearwater and PRAXES work together to keep crew safe and reduce vessel diversions


Becky Langille, Clearwater Manager Crewing, Health & Safety, talks about what makes the PRAXES/Clearwater relationship so unique and successful.

At what point did you become the contact for PRAXES and involved in managing this relationship?

In 2003 we had acquired another company and brought on approximately 50 employees. This raised the employee profile demographically and we had a lot of employees around age 55 or so with ongoing health issues. As a result there were a high number of workers compensation claims. PRAXES helped us develop a program for onboard remote medical assistance for our captains, straight through to managing employees’ disabilities if they did become ill or injured.

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What services are PRAXES providing for Clearwater currently?

Currently, they provide our captains with remote medical advice at sea, and standardized first aid and medical kits, that keep us compliant and current. The captains love it because there is a management system that goes with the service and helps them to manage first aid, and the recording of illnesses, injuries and treatments provided, with the date and time. So we’ve got great documentation. The medical kits are very well organized so that the vials of medication are numbered. The captains and the doctor they’re speaking to know exactly what’s on board. The doctors simply tell the skipper what number to administer. It’s very user friendly and minimizes the risk of the captains giving inappropriate medications.

PRAXES does our marine medicals. Doctors on the remote calls have current information from the most recent medicals so that they have a good idea of the employees’ overall health. PRAXES has also helped us with respiratory protection programs and random drug testing programs.

 

Do you think that PRAXES assists Clearwater in achieving certain business objectives?

One of our issues was workers compensations claims. PRAXES is able to expedite MRIs and CAT scans and other diagnostic tests that might be needed for employees. We have been able to reduce claims by reducing the amount of time an employee is off work. Instead of waiting 14 months for an MRI, they can get one done in two to three weeks – It makes a huge difference! Some specialists will take expedited appointments with referrals from an occupational health physician. PRAXES consults with the family doctor and with the employee to make sure that everyone is involved with the treatment.

 

Which PRAXES services over the years have had the most powerful impact for Clearwater?

Working with PRAXES has helped us to improve the level of medical service our employees have access to while reducing our vessel diversions. Previously, when captains had to call for medical advice they would reach a doctor in an emergency room who was typically busy with many different patients and had no background or medical history for the crew member in question. They were not as well equipped to deal with the captain’s phone call. The safest answer was to bring the crew member into shore for medical treatment, which could mean that the crew-member is waiting until they get ashore for treatment. Now, with PRAXES systems in place, we are successfully able to triage and treat many minor incidents onboard our vessels.

All of the vital signs are looked at and the captains are well trained in marine first aid. PRAXES doctors have access to the marine medical information and they know what medications are on board each vessel. They can start a process of treatment that is efficient and safe. They are very good at remote diagnosis – they can detect the difference between heartburn and heart attack. It’s made a huge difference. There’s a heavy cost of bringing in a vessel and PRAXES has helped us reduce diversions significantly while improving the medical care our employees receive . The employees are very happy with the services. It also gives us and our employees peace of mind to know they are supported in this way.

 

Is there an average cost to a vessel diversion?

In our business a vessel diversion has a significant cost. Some vessels in some areas might be nine hours away from shore and others 18. And that’s a one way trip so if they need to come in the vessel is losing hours of harvesting time and burning extra fuel. For example, on a clam fleet you have 35 employees on board so you have to consider their earnings and time and on a scallop fleet it’s an average of 27 crew members on board and a lobster fleet has an average of 17.

 

What sets PRAXES apart from other medical support services that exist?

A lot of it is their standards. In addition to emergency physicians they have an occupational health physician who is designated to give marine medicals by Transport Canada. He’s taken the time to become familiar with our operating environments on the vessels. He’s able to look at someone working at a particular process and tell you by looking at a video, what the likely injuries might be and how to avoid them. It’s very thorough and PRAXES has high standards.

 

In terms of some of your longstanding captains and crew members, do you see a change in their attitudes and comfort levels now that they have PRAXES support?

Nobody, no matter how much training they’ve got knows how they’re going to react when someone gets hurt or there’s an emergency. PRAXES takes a lot of pressure off the captains because they have dedicated, reliable emergency physicians who are completely focused on their calls and have background information on the employees and will talk to them as well and get them through the situation.

PRAXES is very quick to respond if there’s any problem or issue whether it’s dealing with an invoice or providing a subcontractor for a specific service. They are very swift in dealing with all our concerns, big and small.

PRAXES takes a ship call

Praxes Medical Group takes a ship call

On a Friday afternoon in the fall of 2014, a call came in to PRAXES from a ship’s agent to explain that a ship would be arriving in Halifax the next morning with a crew member who had a painful medical condition. The ship was stopping for only a few hours to deliver and pick-up containers. The caller wanted to know if it was possible to avoid a potentially long wait in the Emergency Department and have the man seen on-board the ship. Considering the time-limit logistics, PRAXES staff arranged for a physician, in this case me, to meet the ship soon after it tied up in port.

The shipping agent contacted the container port security and entry into the busy, secure area was arranged. As the ship tied up, the ramp was lowered while the large container port gantry was being positioned next to the ship to start unloading large containers. At the same time a fuel truck pulled up along side too – there was no time wasted during these short stops.

Container ship

I was met by one of the crew – all of whom were Eastern European and spoke limited English.  The crew member  guided me along the ice covered deck, into the superstructure, then up several levels to the crews quarters and designated ‘hospital room.’ The Atlantic crossing from Europe had been very rough the preceding few days and had resulted in a late arrival. Most of the loose objects in the room had been thrown around. The crew member looked over his shoulder, flashed me a quick smile, and rearranged what he could. Then I was invited in to the tight quarters and we waited for the ‘patient.’

The captain arrived in a few minutes, a very welcoming and appreciative man, with the patient in tow. Following a brief exchange (the man was allegedly feeling better and seemed VERY embarrassed about the apparent fuss and having to bring a doctor to see him), a diagnosis was made, treatment recommended, and paperwork completed. It was no more than one hour from arrival at the container port to heading back home and then to a shift in the Emergency Department.

HalifaxShipAndHospital

It’s not always possible to accommodate such last minute requests, but PRAXES Medical Group is in the business of trying to solve unique medical situations. Our clients operate in a highly competitive environment, where lost time can be very costly. We are here to help whenever and however we can.

John Ross MD FRCPC

Emergency Medicine

Medical Director, Praxes Medical Group

Clipper Ventures Plc & PRAXES Medical Group announce ClipperTelemed+™

UK-based Clipper Ventures Plc and Halifax-based PRAXES Medical Group announce ClipperTelemed™, an innovative global joint venture business.

Leg 3 - Southern Ocean - Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 13/1

As the only Canadian sponsor of the renowned Clipper 2013/14 Round the World Yacht Race, Halifax-based PRAXES Medical Group provided crews with global telemedicine support. Use of the PRAXES service helped the Clipper Race increase medical support on board, while simultaneously reducing vessel diversions and insurance claims. The results were so compelling that PRAXES and Clipper Ventures (race operator) have been discussing ways of working more closely together.

PRAXES and Clipper Ventures are now launching  ClipperTelemed+™ to provide immediate medical support from PRAXES emergency and occupational physicians to yachts, super-yachts and commercial vessels around the world. Custom medical kits will also be offered, as part of a complete medical support service.

Clipper Race Founder and Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo, nonstop around the world in 1968/9 said: “We are pleased to launch this new joint venture. It is a result of our success as partners in the last race.”

John Hockin, PRAXES VP of Marketing, says that although technology plays a part, PRAXES success is primarily because of its excellent physicians who deliver an immediate response, empathy and reassurance to callers anywhere. The confidence they gave 2013/14 Clipper Race crews comes through in the ringing endorsements that crews have given them.

ClipperTelemed+™ will launch in 2015 and will be available globally.

ClipperTelemed+

About PRAXES 

PRAXES is Canada’s premier supplier of telemedicine for government and industrial clients, providing remote medical support for remote and hostile environments globally – ships, mine sites, oil and gas platforms, and even prisons.  In addition to the global marine sector, PRAXES is pursuing new opportunities in telemedicine for consumer markets.

About Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the world’s longest ocean race, also known as one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges. The race is 40,000 miles long and takes almost a year to complete. Twelve teams race on a matched fleet of Clipper Race 70 ocean racing yachts.

Established by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in 1996 to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to experience the thrill of ocean racing, it’s the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Approximately 40 per cent of crew have no sailing experience before they sign up to the challenge. This is where everyone from doctors to massage therapists, truck drivers, students, nurses, and landscape gardeners join together to take on Mother Nature’s toughest conditions.

During the Clipper 2013-14 Race, crew members were given rapid diagnosis and valuable expert reassurance by PRAXES emergency physicians, in addition to in-port consultations via private internet video consultations.

Crew were given advice on everything from respiratory problems, infections, eye injuries, and rashes, to dislocations and broken ribs. This included emergency advice following a dramatic Man Overboard rescue in the North Pacific Ocean, dealing with a crew member with potential hypothermia, shock and a suspected broken leg.

Note to media:

For further information on PRAXES please contact: John Hockin, VP Marketing +1 (902) 420-9725 X205/Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required or

Nicole Trask, PRAXES Communications Specialist, +1 (902)222-1286 email hidden; JavaScript is required

For further information on the Clipper Race please contact: Marina Thomas, Senior Press Officer 

UK mobile: +44 7793 417 751/ Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

www.clipperroundtheworld.com 

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