The story at a glance

  • Mercy Ships operates the two largest non-governmental hospital ships in the world to deliver health services to those with little access to safe medical care
  • TeamViewer Tensor helps Mercy Ships remote staff to instantly and efficiently support medical and operational personnel on hospital ships in Africa
  • Remote staff in North America can use Tensor to remotely diagnose whether a tumor is cancerous or not, ultimately determining whether they can operate on the patient or not
  • Tensor’s Single Sign-On gives Mercy Ships IT more security by preventing unauthorized users from backdoor access
  • Being able to remotely access and support staff on hospital ships halfway across the world saves Mercy Ships in travel costs


Mercy Ships, headquartered in Texas, operates hospital ships that deliver free surgeries and other healthcare services to those with little access to safe medical care. An international faith-based organization, Mercy Ships has focused entirely on partnering with African nations for the past three decades. Working with in-country partners, Mercy Ships also provides training to local healthcare professionals and supports the construction of in-country medical infrastructure to leave a lasting impact.


For the first time in the history of the organization, Mercy Ships operates the two largest non-governmental hospital ships in the world, the Africa Mercy and the Global Mercy. While both ships operate off the coast of Africa, most of Mercy Ships’ IT support personnel are based in the US, prompting the international charity to look for a solution that offers instant, secure access while being fully compliant with healthcare regulations. Operating in low-bandwidth areas, Mercy Ships was also looking for a reliable solution that works even in challenging situations.

When it comes to cancer treatment, Mercy Ships only operates on benign tumors. In order to determine whether a tumor is cancerous or not, a biopsy of the tumor must be taken on the ship and examined by pathology consultants. But with these consultants located thousands of miles away in North America, Mercy Ships needed a solution that could help bridge this gap and allow the biopsy team to accurately diagnose the tumor.

Stuart Clear Service Delivery Manager at Mercy Ships

“We looked at several options to handle our remote support, but TeamViewer offered us the most security and ease of use. The ability for medical staff to securely remote in to make sure we can operate on patients has been instrumental in helping us fulfill our mission to bringing healthcare services to those who need it most.”


TeamViewer Tensor has proven to be the ideal solution for Mercy Ships as it seamlessly and instantly connects staff on the hospital ships in Africa with IT and highly experienced medical personnel in the US and across the globe. This has helped the organization increase their efficiency, which is particularly crucial as the healthcare industry faces a global shortage of health workers.

“We looked at other remote support solutions but found that TeamViewer Tensor stood out in terms of its security and ease of use,” said Stuart Clear, Service Delivery Manager at Mercy Ships. “In particular, the ability to have unattended access to devices on the hospital ships is really helpful, as well as the capability to create device groups and define individual permissions for them.”

In addition to supporting the operations team, TeamViewer Tensor also helps Mercy Ships medical staff access their medical supplies dispensing system which holds all the ship’s medical equipment. Medical staff need to sign in to TeamViewer Tensor to manage these systems remotely from North America and dispense what is needed for a given operation or procedure.

Perhaps most importantly, when a doctor needs to determine whether they can operate on a patient with cancer, they will need to take a biopsy of the tumor which is then put in a slide and made visible to pathology consultants working remotely via TeamViewer Tensor. “When dealing with surgery, speed and efficiency are of the utmost importance. TeamViewer Tensor lets us quickly determine whether we can operate on a patient and get them the help they need right away,” added Clear.


TeamViewer Tensor has delivered critical remote support to Mercy Ships’ operations and medical staff. Being able to remote in to resolve an IT issue, dispense medical supplies or determine the viability of surgery has saved Mercy Ships both time, effort and costs by resolving issues quickly and efficiently.

Facts and figures

1,200 enrolled devices

40 active users

500 connections per month

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