bmi british midland First to Install and Use Inflight Telemedicine Technology on Long Haul Flights

30th Apr 2002

Showing commitment to passenger health and safety and the latest advances in medical technology, bmi british midland today became the first airline to install Tempus 2000, an integrated telemedicine service, on all its long haul flights.

Tempus 2000, developed by Remote Diagnostic Technologies Ltd (RDT), will enable bmi crew to obtain clinically accurate vital signs on any passenger taken ill on a flight. The results will then be transmitted instantaneously, to emergency medicine specialists manning the MedLink service of MedAire inc. in America.

Tempus 2000 is the first remote medical monitoring device designed specifically for non-expert use during a medical incident onboard an aircraft. Using an inbuilt modem the device monitors a passenger’s blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature, electrocardiogram (ECG), blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. This data is then sent, via the inflight phone system, to specialist physicians in the accident and emergency department of the central teaching hospital in Phoenix, Arizona who can advise the crew of the best course of action.

Austin Reid, chief executive officer at bmi said:

“Once again, bmi is at the forefront of product development in the airline industry. By installing this ground breaking system on our transatlantic services from Manchester, we are able to ensure that the best possible medical advice is available to our passengers whilst making the transatlantic crossing, irrespective of the aircraft’s altitude or distance from land.”


bmi senior transatlantic crews have undergone extensive training on the device with representatives from RDT and are already accustomed to using the MedLink service. Now, if there is a medical problem during a flight, senior cabin crew will carry the small portable case to the passenger requiring assistance, connect to the satellite telephone system and then, while speaking directly to the emergency physician, will send whatever medical measurements are needed.

Captain Graham Cresswell, chief medical officer at bmi said:

“In an era where there is increasing awareness of passenger health issues, we are delighted to be the first airline to provide this service for all our long haul passengers.

“It moves the management of inflight medical problems onto an altogether different level of sophistication and gives us great confidence that we can look after our passengers in the best way possible.”

Graham Murphy, RDT Managing Director added:

“We have spent considerable time developing this product which benefits both the passenger and airline. It provides the right diagnostic information to enable fast, informed medical decisions by ground based medical experts. This ensures passengers always receive the highest standard of care.

“Obviously we are delighted to have won this order from bmi who has recognised the need for advanced medical technology on its long haul flights. We are also confident other airlines will be quick to follow bmi’s lead in using advanced technology to improve passenger healthcare.”



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