How Do You Get Medical Care to Workers on an Offshore Oil Rig?

With telemedicine.

Some rigs have saved $500,000 or more a year, according to NuPhysicia, which has contracts with 19 oil rigs around the world, including one off Iraq…NuPhysicia also offers video medical services to land-based employers with 500 or more workers at a site. The camera connection is an alternative to an employer’s on-site clinics, typically staffed by a nurse or a physician assistant…In Hawaii, more than 2,000 Blue Cross plan members used Webcams to consult doctors last year.

They’re also being used in prisons.

Comments (6)

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  1. Larry C. says:

    Fascinating. Glad to see this type of technology being put to good use.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    I can envision a day when retail clinics might allow patients to interact with a specialist via web cam. Computer USB ports, could allow a variety of input devises (stethoscopes, various types of cameras, scanners, etc.).

  3. Tom H. says:

    So what I want to know is when can I have this technology installed in my home? I would rather not have to go work on an offshore oil rig.

  4. Ken says:

    I agree with Tom. I don’t want to have to move to Hawaii either.

  5. artk says:

    Tom sez: “when can I have this technology installed in my home?” When you have 150 people living in your home and the only way to get there by helicopter.

  6. John R. Graham says:

    An oil rig is one of the few places where employer-based health care makes sense. Ditto for mines, forestry, and maybe very large and dangerous factories. In pretty much any other job in the post-industrial, office-based, urban economy, it makes no sense.

    In a world of consumer-driven health care (where the U.S. government eliminates the discrimination against individually owned health insurance), British Petroleum (for example)would still offer health benefits to its roughnecks, which they would obviously accept.

    However, competitive pressures would also compel BP to finance the premiums for health-status insurance (as developed by Prof. John Cochrane) so that if its workers left BP to get another job onshore, they could buy another, individual, policy, without underwriting.