Seafarer fatigue management solution wins Inmarsat challenge

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(LONDON) — Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has unveiled a joint entry from Canary Sentinel and Workrest as the winner of the inaugural Crew Welfare Open Innovation Challenge, a competition rewarding technologies most likely to benefit crew safety, health and well-being.

The challenge, created with Shell Shipping & Maritime and digital consultancy Thetius, attracted 49 entries from startups and small and medium-sized enterprises, with proposals spanning deck safety, fatigue, administrative burden and well-being. The winning entry – an intelligent fatigue management and rest coaching platform – secures £10,000 (roughly $13,000 U.S.) for proof of concept on a Shell Shipping & Maritime tanker.

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Designed to enhance the management of shift work using real-time health tracking and personalized rest management, the Canary Sentinel-Workrest intelligent fatigue management platform makes recommendations that take account of individual vulnerabilities and abilities to adapt over a 24-hour cycle. Biomarkers including heart rate variability, sleep quality and stress levels are used to identify fatigue impairment, while individuals receive self-health management and rest coaching.

“This win sends out a fantastic message to all of us in this industry, including startups, that there are forward-thinking organizations that are willing to disrupt an incredibly traditional industry because they value their biggest asset – their people,” said Arshia Gratiot, CEO and founder of Canary Sentinel. “We are thrilled to be part of this journey with Inmarsat and Shell in this first step, in what we are confident, will set the trend for things to come.”

Tim Fletcher, CEO and founder of Workrest, said, “We’re honored to have been selected and hugely excited to work on advancing the industry’s understanding of fatigue and offering realistic solutions to combat it and improve crew welfare.”

A judging panel including five seafarers, the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), Inmarsat and Shell Shipping & Maritime concluded that the proposal would have the most direct impact on crew welfare, while judges also took into account the contribution the proof of concept would make to further development.

“In my career, I have never seen any company challenge the perceived wisdom that watchkeepers should stick to 4/8 or 6/6 shift patterns,” said Nick Chubb, managing director of Thetius, announcing the award winner at the Smart Maritime Network Event. “The Canary Sentinel-Workrest bid was selected from three shortlisted entries as an innovation taking a scientific, data-driven approach to fatigue management while also balancing the scheduling needs of a working ship. We are really excited to see how it develops.”

Chubb congratulated the two other entries shortlisted: Kaiko Systems’ guided survey tool and the MedAssist augmented reality-assisted help and training package for seafarers. He added that the proof of concept trial would allow Canary Sentinel to collect data to develop a sector-specific product.

Richard Holdsworth, maritime ventures Lead, Shell Shipping & Maritime, said that the winning entry could have a major impact on seafaring. ”The link between welfare, fatigue and maritime safety is proven. COVID-19 has highlighted one area for concern on crew welfare, but it’s also fair to say in 2020 that age-old shift patterns do not reflect the stresses of seafaring today. Judges felt that intelligent fatigue management was the most ‘seafarer-centric’ proposal entered, and that it offers immense potential to change lives, boost morale, provide insights into the way ships are operated and enhance productivity.”

Ronald Spithout, president, Inmarsat Maritime, said, “The Crew Welfare Open Innovation Challenge demonstrated the sheer variety of ways in which digital technology can enhance seafarer welfare. It redoubles our enthusiasm for seeking out the disruptors driving maritime digitalization. The Canary Sentinel and Workrest platform is truly a worthy winner and we are delighted to have given backing to this competition as part of our Welfare 2.0 initiative.”

– Inmarsat

By Professional Mariner Staff