One Thing You Might Have Missed About Shark Week
Paramedics at Sea Use VER-MEDIC Powered by AT&T to Monitor Extreme Survival Experts in an Ocean Full of Sharks
Dictum Health's Virtual Exam Room (VER) and VER-MEDIC set sail on Discovery Channel's new flagship show “Sharkwrecked.” The series follows 2 extreme survival-expert shark conservationists on the ultimate test of survival — drifting for 48 hours without water, food, or sleep through some of the world's sharkiest waters.
A top paramedic team onboard used the VER-MEDIC to conduct clinical exams, monitoring vitals, ECG, temperature, heart rate, skin health, glucose levels, and pain. Using the global AT&T* network medics were able to stay in touch with a remote physician through the Virtual Exam Room (VER) for any major emergencies.
"Our paramedic team has an extreme challenge to monitor the health of our entire team, from the safety of divers to the show’s participants, and – all from a remote location,” said Nick Stringer, producer and director at Big Wave Productions, award-winning wildlife and adventure documentary makers. “It was brilliant to have the bright yellow VER-MEDIC to bring healthcare into the most extreme environments. We’ve been waiting for something like this for a long time - the paramedic team now has the capability to remotely monitor the health of the team engaged in risky missions.”
Mike Hudson, dive safety supervisor for Discovery Channel and Citizen Pictures, has worked as a medic on Shark Week for 14 years. Hudson noted this was the first time he had modern telehealth equipment in one compact unit that could withstand against the harsh working marine environment.
"I had a sick diver with a bad ear squeeze that caused some severe nausea and vomiting," Hudson said. “Dictum Health’s VER-MEDIC unit was the key piece of equipment to use in the differential between a legit dive emergency such as decompression sickness or decompression illness versus a simple ear squeeze. This piece of equipment made all the difference in the world.”
During this mission, sharks were not the only threat. Alone in open water, the divers endured 90-degree weather during the day followed by plummeting temperatures at night. The risks of dehydration, hypothermia, and drowning were real. Having a clinical medical device to safely monitor the divers became crucial.
"Delivering healthcare in the face of danger… It was an exciting opportunity to work with the paramedic team to ensure the VER-MEDIC would meet their unique challenges to monitor the health of the “Sharkwrecked” divers and to have immediate access to a remote emergency physician if they needed it," said Elizabeth Keate, vice president of Product at Dictum Health. "Bringing AT&T IoT together with VER-MEDIC is redefining healthcare delivery far beyond the emergency room to provide healthcare in the most extreme scenarios."
Facing a multitude of environments on and off the water, patients had access to a full clinic through the Virtual Exam Room. They could receive the same clinical accuracy of an in-hospital exam from a remote physician in a clinical setting.
“Our customers like Dictum Health rely on us to deliver IoT connectivity wherever they need to be. Even if that means the shark-infested waters of the Bahamas,” said Chris Penrose, president, Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions at AT&T. “Being part of Shark Week and connecting Dictum Health’s VER product shows how IoT solutions can be mission critical. When diving with sharks, the ability to have near-instant health data can be the difference between life and death.”
“Sharkwrecked” was filmed on location by Big Wave Productions in the waters of Cat Island, Bahamas. It is one of the last refuges for the endangered Oceanic Whitetip, a shark said to be responsible for hundreds of deaths of shipwreck survivors during WW2. “Sharkwrecked” premieres July 26 at 9 p.m. EST on Discovery Channel.
Learn more about VER-MEDIC.
About Big Wave Media
Big Wave makes award-winning science, wildlife, history and adventure programs for broadcasters worldwide. We're passionate about what we do and regularly take on highly ambitious projects. Our shows often make real change, such as transforming laws and generating new scientific revelation which makes us really proud. We work with the world’s leading scientists and conservationists and have won more than 80 awards and nominations for our work.
About Mike Hudson
Mike is a highly experienced, mobile intensive care paramedic, dive rescue paramedic and EMS instructor specializing in providing care in unique and austere environments. Mike has worked on Shark Week for 14 years, and as an Ocean rescue specialist paramedic for the last 20. For the first time, Mike used a state of the art, remote medical monitoring system provided by Dictum Health to monitor the divers' vital signs.
About Dictum Health
Experts in mobile, cloud, and clinical sciences, Dictum Health is transforming the way telehealth is delivered by leveraging innovation and quality to provide the Next Evolution in the Continuum of Care. Our solutions give physicians the means to treat, consult, monitor, and manage even their most at-risk patients from virtually anywhere, anytime. For more information visit www.dictumhealth.com.
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