A maritime consortium has launched a new emotional wellbeing app and digital platform for use by crew managers.
The Safebridge CrewCare App has been jointly developed by volunteer group Container Shipping Supporting Seafarers (CSSS); maritime EdTech company Safebridge; data analytics company Motion Ventures; and the Universities of Manchester and Plymouth.
Through a real-time connection the app facilitates crew managers' ability to monitor the status of the seafarers' wellbeing, general health, and Covid-19 risks, and offer support.
It incorporates 'a professionally qualified questionnaire based on techniques medical practitioners use to make decisions when presented with a patient's symptoms'. An algorithm rates the multiple-choice answers given to rate the mood of the seafarer from one (low risk) to 10. Actions can then be taken by the ship management company to mobilise appropriately qualified personnel in support of an individual in need.
CSSS founder Philip Eastell explained: 'Where concern exists there is now an opportunity for seafarers to get help. The app is a very low-key diagnostics tool set up to ensure that those seafarers struggling to cope receive the care they need.'
It also has access to the 24-hour International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) helpline SeafarerHelp.
ISWAN CEO Roger Harris said: 'We welcome this application and the many benefits it will bring to seafarers and ship managers alike, especially during the current crew change crisis when many seafarers are suffering from increased anxiety and stress.'
Safebridge CEO Prof. Capt. Ralph Becker-Heins said: 'Safebridge recognises seafarers as the global maritime industry's beating heart, without whom international trade would grind to a halt. This latest solution is the next logical step towards a future where every single seafarer is able to more closely interact with those ashore, taking greater care of his or her wellbeing.'