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Bridging Healthcare Gaps at Sea: Mercy Ships’ Technological Voyage with Presidio

Mercy ships Global mercy

For over four decades, Mercy Ships has been providing vital medical services via its hospital ships. The Global Mercy serves in Sierra Leone, while the African Mercy embarks on its mission in Madagascar, extending ten months of invaluable medical care to underserved communities. 

When Mercy Ships started down the road of building their new ship, the Global Mercy, they had an idea of what they wanted to put on the vessel, but on the technology side of things they had a bit of a gap. Mercy Ships came to Presidio with a unique set of challenges intertwined with the organization’s mission to deliver healthcare to remote areas. 

Mercy Ships has a number of unique complexities that required creative infrastructure modernization solutions.  

Establishing Maritime Connectivity: 

One of the initial hurdles faced by Mercy Ships and Presidio was ensuring a robust and reliable network at sea. To overcome this challenge, the teams meticulously designed two separate data centers on board, complying with stringent maritime regulations. The goal was clear: to establish a redundant, “always-on” network, essential for delivering uninterrupted medical services in remote locations. 

Overcoming Metal Walls for WiFi Connectivity: 

Navigating the unique environment of a hospital ship posed a significant connectivity challenge: metal walls obstructing WiFi signals.  

Presidio’s expertise with IT modernization came to the fore as they meticulously planned access point placement and conducted detailed heat mapping assessments. Through strategic installation and optimization, stable connectivity was achieved, enabling medical staff, volunteers, and crew members to seamlessly transition between work and life on board. 

Personal and Professional Impact of Stable Connectivity: 

Beyond the realm of technology, stable connectivity aboard Mercy Ships has profound implications for both personal and professional life. The seamless integration of work and home life for those living and working on board is dependent on connectivity, for personal and medical reasons. Reliable connectivity not only enhances the quality of life but also ensures continuity in delivering essential medical care to those in need. 

Mercy Ships’ mission to deliver healthcare to remote locations pushes the boundaries of what’s possible. Their journey, however, is not solely defined by medical expertise but also by robust infrastructure, particularly in the realm of technology. Presidio’s partnership highlights the crucial role infrastructure plays in healthcare digital modernization, especially in bridging geographical and resource-based gaps. 

 The success of this collaboration showcases how innovative solutions, tailored to unique environments, can empower medical professionals, volunteers, and crew members. By establishing reliable connectivity, Mercy Ships can not only deliver vital medical services but also foster a supportive environment for those dedicated to serving others. As Mercy Ships continues its mission, the lessons learned from this partnership will undoubtedly pave the way for a healthier future for communities around the globe.  

Allec Brust

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