Way back (in internet time) in 2006 we posted about Virgin Airways’ plans to use the Tempus from RDT in their aircraft for long haul flights. The Tempus is a minimal training vital signs monitor for use in way out of hospital settings that can transmit all the recorded data to medical control on the ground or other locations. Now, in 2010, the plan has been implemented and several other carriers use the device as well. Recently The Economist wrote it up and included a gripping tale of its use:
HALF way through a flight from Mumbai to London, a male passenger complained of a swollen right hand and an inability to bend his fingers. The flight attendants were uncertain about what to do and hooked the passenger up to a small device which took and transmitted vital signs, including his pulse, blood pressure and a picture of his hand, to a ground-based medical team.
As the passenger’s condition worsened, the device was also used to transmit an electrocardiographic (ECG) trace. The resulting information was used to rule out heart problems, and the passenger was stabilised and monitored with the assistance of a doctor on the flight. The decision was made to continue the journey rather than divert to the nearest airport.
The article goes on to detail RDT’s future plans for the Tempus, including making it more rugged for military applications and including ultrasound and a laryngoscope.
The Economist: An online medic…
Product page: Tempus IC…
Previously: Virgin Atlantic To Introduce On-Board Telemedicine