MIME Technologies, a startup originating at Aberdeen University in Scotland, unveiled the Aiber in-flight telemedicine system designed to be used by flight attendants to help stricken passengers.
Using a tablet computer, flight attendants can communicate with physicians on the ground, transmitting observable symptoms, but also streaming data from sensors that can be stuck to the body of the victim. These can include heart rate, temperature, and respiration rate sensors, and the system includes a 12-lead ECG that first responders can be guided to use to potentially help spot heart attacks and other cardiac conditions. The sensors connect to the tablet via Bluetooth and can be used to monitor the patient during the rest of the flight.
The system asks a series of questions, collecting basic information about the situation and the passenger’s condition. This is shared with a physician who can communicate in real-time with the flight attendant to guide immediate treatment and also help decide whether to divert the airplane to the nearest airport.
For passengers, there’s an extra level of assurance that they can be better managed if something is to happen, and for airlines Aiber can help to make more accurate decisions on plane diversion, potentially saving many thousands of dollars per an avoided false alarm.