German airline Lufthansa has recently started using a mobile ECG system with telemedical support on all long-haul flights.
Medical incidents on board airlines can sometimes require unplanned landings for medical treatment on the ground, and cardiovascular complaints are one of the most common causes.
Lufthansa has equipped all long-haul aircraft with CardioSecur mobile ECG system, which is connected to the international medical hotline International SOS.
In an emergency, flight attendants can now use the new system to record a mobile 12-channel ECG of the affected passengers and forward the data to International SOS.
Here, doctors evaluate the transmitted ECG data around the clock and can advise the cockpit crew by telephone on any further treatment required.
Mobile ECG and remote medical care allow the crew to make more informed decisions.
In addition, flight attendants can search for doctors on board using the ‘Doctor on board’ application offered by Lufthansa, Swiss Airlines and Austrian Airlines for the DACH region. They can then even use the ECG system in expert mode. Around 11,000 doctors have already registered for the program in German-speaking countries.
Currently, most airlines still rely on highly equipped emergency kits and defibrillators.
With the telemedical expansion of patient care on board, Lufthansa wants to further increase patient safety. As an additional innovation, patients can now also book a nurse, paramedic or doctor to accompany them.
Lufthansa has been the only airline to offer intercontinental intensive care patient transport for more than 20 years. With its Medical Operation Center (MOC), the company also offers many medical services on board and around flying.