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Travel

Hi-Tech Computer Offers Expert In-Flight Care

15 years, 4 months ago

502  0
Posted on Jan 11, 2003, 5 p.m. By Bill Freeman

In an average day on earth, at least one passenger plane has to make an unscheduled landing because a passenger is taken ill. As well as being extremely expensive - every unscheduled landing costs the airline $50,000 to $100,000 - and highly inconvenient for the passengers, many unscheduled landings turn out to be unnecessary as the patients condition may not be as serious as it first seems.

In an average day on earth, at least one passenger plane has to make an unscheduled landing because a passenger is taken ill. As well as being extremely expensive - every unscheduled landing costs the airline $50,000 to $100,000 - and highly inconvenient for the passengers, many unscheduled landings turn out to be unnecessary as the patients condition may not be as serious as it first seems. To try to overcome unnecessary unscheduled landing aeroplane manufacturer Airbus teamed up with the French Space Agency to develop an on-board hi-tech computer that can send vital medical information to a hospital via satellite. If a passenger falls ill in-flight a trained crewmember uses the computer to take the patients temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, and other vital signs. The information is then downloaded in real time by satellite and assessed by a doctor, who decided whether the patient needs emergency treatment on the ground. While the system is not cheap at $50,000, it would pay for itself by preventing just one unnecessary landing, and could save airlines a huge amount of money in the long-term.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.bbc.co.uk on the 19th December 2002

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