Diagnosis, control and treatment of diseases in offshore oil and gas (O&G) industry represents an important challenge for medicine and occupational health. More and more the operations, particularly in the Up stream sector, are carried out in remote and frontier areas. Working in O&G industry environment may be risky for the occurrence of acute medical events, and local medical structure are often either difficult to reach or their standards are not at the level that guaranty the efficiency requested by the Industry. This is why the training of medical personnel working in remote locations represents a crucial point for the best health protection of workers in these areas. More over, the medical personnel that work in our environment are requested to be all-ologist (Medical Officer, Hygienist, Occupational Health Specialist, General Practitioner, Gynaecologist, Paediatrician, Traumatologist, Infectious and Tropical Diseases Specialist, Medical Emergency Specialist, Medical Educator etc..). Unfortunately, there are no specific university courses in this area that would guaranty the adequate qualification. The same stays for dedicated applications of e-health courses, this last one becoming more and more important for guaranteeing high level of medical assistance in O&G industry.
Saipem, a company of Eni S.p.A., one of the biggest contractors in Oil and Gas industry, has more than 32.000 employees working both off and on shore, within its organisation, as part of the QHSE Department, the company has developed the in-house medical department. Presently this one is formed by 290 medical doctors and nurses, coming form 34 different nationalities, working at 119 operating sites. It is obvious that these health care professionals are coming with, and are working in, different cultural, educational, professional back grounds.
An important opportunity for improving and uniforming health care of people working and living in offshore O&G industry facilities is offered by telemedicine. The interest in applications of communication technologies in medical interventions (e-health and telemedicine) is growing world-wide and the use of these technologies in oil and gas industry may contribute to offer the best level of health care. Practitioners working in the field of O&G, although located in remote areas, via telemedicine can have access to second and third level specialist advice and can have a continuous update of their medical knowledge.