Adaptability at 38,000 Feet - Using inflight WiFi to Manage Medical Events
This month our Technology Manager Tony Ross talks to the aviation industry about the connectivity, and how we address inflight variability when managing onboard medical events.
The world of today expects constant, high-speed connection to the internet. We shop, bank, socialise and live our lives on this information superhighway and cannot be without it. This has given rise to an ever-increasing demand for more bandwidth (or speed) and connectivity, even in the most remote of places such as 38,000 feet in the air.
As Technology Manager, one of my key considerations for our carry onboard first-response kit, was to harness the capabilities of the internet to give an advantage to those with medical needs. We understand that streaming on-scene medical incident data is important to our clients, including clinical-grade 12-lead ECGs, which we send to a secure clinician dashboard, held in the cloud. This data can be reviewed by medical teams who may be miles from the casualty, enabling them to remotely ‘review and recommend’ the best course of action.
So what happens when you're in an aircraft travelling at 530mph, 38,000 feet above the earth and internet connectivity is potentially very poor or non-existent? This is one of the problems my technical team have sought to solve for the aviation industry.
Our inflight solution Aiber was designed to operate in the lowest bandwidth conditions. Our data is super-compressed into very small packets, making it easy to transmit in these conditions. Even when there is no connection at all, Aiber detects this but continues to support cabin crew during a medical incident, still allowing observations and vital sign measurements to be logged. When internet connectivity is restored, Aiber will reconnect and then stream everything stored whilst offline, before resuming live-streaming of incident data.
When it comes to Aiber, we've planned for the best and the worst of the internet to give our customers the biggest advantage possible. With airlines across the globe rapidly digitising their fleets, we see great success for new market entrants that solve real industry challenges.