Virgin Atlantic will be introducing Tempus, the telemedicine device designed for use by non-medical experts during a remote medical emergency, onto its aircraft. The airline has signed a deal up until 2009 which means that all Virgin Atlantic aircraft in the fleet will be fitted with the equipment.
Tempus uses the satellite technology that operates Virgin Atlantic’s onboard telephone system to transmit medical information such as pulse rate and blood pressure readings as well as video images to medical experts at the MedAire Centre in Phoenix, Arizona. The ground-based doctors can then diagnose the problem and advise the crew on the next course of action, enabling crew to use their medical training to assist the passenger.
Steve Ridgway, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, welcomed the introduction of the technology;
“The safety and welfare of our passenger is of paramount importance. Virgin Atlantic has used the original telemedicine system, MedLink, for many years, but Tempus’ advanced technology significantly increases the airline’s onboard medical provision.”
Graham Murphy, Managing Director of RDT, said;
“We are really pleased to be installing Tempus across Virgin Atlantic’s fleet of aircraft, and are delighted that the contract covers fleet expansion.”
Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to introduce defibrillators across its fleet and has used the MedLink remote doctor service, for many years. But Tempus’ advanced technology significantly increases the airline’s onboard medical provision. Cabin Crew will have expert help to differentiate between serious and non-serious incidents and do not have to make crucial medical decisions nor interpret medical information themselves. As with defibrillators, it is expected that this technology will soon be adopted as industry standard.