Innovation out of Norway
Isolation pod can help cruise set sail once again
As the cruise industry prepares to resume operation, it is making necessary changes to rebuild trust and confidence from passengers, governments, and crewmembers. Safety policies, practices, and equipment are being put in place to mitigate the risk of virus spreading on board.
One thing this pandemic has taught us is the importance of safely isolating and transporting infectious patients off ship.
“The EpiShuttle is a single patient isolation and transport system. It enables safe transport of contagious patients on cruise ships. It completely isolates the patient, while at the same time allows for necessary care and treatment during transport,” said Ellen Cathrine Andersen, CEO of EpiGuard, the Norwegian company behind the transport system EpiShuttle, which is in use worldwide.
“The cruise ship industry must prepare for contagious infections among passengers or crewmembers. Having an EpiShuttle on board increase preparedness and lower the risk of an uncontrolled virus outbreak,” Andersen said.
Major cruise line companies, such as Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruise, have implemented new and detailed safety policies, including health screening before embarking. As all cruise companies adapt, major players are looking into how to mitigate risk by adding new technology to handle any new outbreaks.
“The EpiShuttle allows patient monitoring and full intensive care treatment during transport, including emergency procedures like intubation and insertion of central venous catheters. In addition, for COVID-19 patients, the adjustable backrest is extremely important to keep coughing at a minimum. The backrest and the spacious transparent hardtop, makes the EpiShuttle comfortable. Comfort and a reduced feeling of constriction for the patients inside the EpiShuttle were important aspects when designing the product,” Andersen explained.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of access to protective equipment and safe transport of infected patients is crucial. The EpiShuttle is in use world–wide during the pandemic, in hospitals and in both air and road ambulances, protecting health-care workers and saving lives. To fulfill the promises made to passengers and crewmembers, having an EpiShuttle on board all cruise ships could be part of the new safety standard onboard.
“The EpiShuttle is now in use in the British, Canadian, Norwegian, and Danish air forces, as well as several emergency medical services all over the world. It is NATO stock-listed and conforms to the standards of the European Economic Area (CE-marked) as a class-one medical device. Now, we will also serve the cruise industry,” said Andersen.
EpiGuard is a Norwegian company established in 2015 to provide better solutions for safe transportation of contagious patients. Its team of medical experts and engineers developed the EpiShuttle based on analysis and clinical firsthand experience from previous global epidemics.
EpiGuard’s medical background ranges from intensive care, infectious diseases, internal medicine and anesthesiology, and transport medicine. EpiShuttle improves patient safety and care, safety for health-care providers, reduces costs, and increases operational efficiency. LifePort, the EpiShuttle, is registered with both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada.
For more informatino on EpiGuard, visit: epiguard.com.
This article originally appeared in the May 7, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.