VistaJet has added the Tempus IC2 telemedicine technology to its global fleet of 116 aircraft. Photo: VIstaJet
International private jet charter operator VistaJet has added in-flight telemedicine technology, RDT’s Tempus IC2, to their global fleet of aircraft as the business aviation industry continues to see demand for flights scale up following the reduction of air travel restrictions in several regions.
Tempus IC2 is a tablet device developed by RDT to give non-medical experts the ability to monitor vital passenger signs and communicate with a network doctors and medical experts on the ground that are available 24/7. VistaJet has become the first charter operator to add the IC2 to its fleet, although the technology has been adopted and used by various airlines for several years including Etihad Airways and Icelandair, among others.
VistaJet Chairman Thomas Flohr said he believes “all operators with a global program should have this technology onboard,” in a press release confirming the Tempus IC2 fleet equipage.
“VistaJet crew now have even more resources to give them and passengers complete peace of mind with every flight. The information from the monitor is seamlessly and confidentially shared with the ground-based medical experts — it is the next best thing to having a doctor by your side,” Flohr said.
According to the company's website, Tempus is capable of transmitting voice and data communications using satellite connectivity. Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Wi-Fi interfaces are also embedded within Tempus that can enable in-flight communications with Medlink, which is MedAire’s 24/7 medical advisory service.
“The parameters available when taking a Tempus call are essentially the same as those one would have in most emergency rooms. Tempus IC2 is invaluable when remotely managing a medical situation, because it gives MedAire’s MedLink doctors the clinical-quality data needed to make a better diagnostic impression,” Dr Paulo M. Alves, global medical director for MedAire, said in a statement.
Using Tempus, VistaJet flight crews will be able to connect to MedLink through “VistaJet’s secure onboard connection,” the company said. That onboard connection was recently upgraded to Luxstream, a business jet in-flight connectivity service enabled by Collins Aerospace in partnership with SES.
While VistaJet did not describe the addition of Tempus to its aircraft cabins as directly associated with COVID-19 related travel concerns, it is one of the latest steps the company has taken in efforts to restore passenger confidence in air travel.
Flight crews are now required to be evaluated twice a day for COVID-19 signs or symptoms, and passengers traveling to or from high risk locations are required to complete a new set of additional travel documents and a self-declaration that is submitted as a legal verification of information to the port of arrival authority at their destination. If a passenger has been determined to have had COVID-19 while onboard one of VistaJet’s aircraft, it is removed from service, throughly cleaned and evaluated prior to flying again.
During his appearance on the Global Connected Aircraft Podcast in March, as COVID-19 travel restrictions were first being implemented, VistaJet Chief Commercial Officer Ian Moore described some of the challenges of flying internationally amid new travel restriction and health concerns.
“Going from A to B these days is a lot more complicated, it’s not just getting the passenger there, it’s getting the crew there, and getting the crew into periods of rest while not getting stuck in quarantine,” Moore said. “Making sure the aircraft can get out again, making sure you can have a fuel stop if necessary in a location where all three parts, the crew, aircraft and client can touch on the ground. The complexity of being able to operate requires a company with experience that can navigate those areas, otherwise aircraft, crews or clients can find themselves in areas they cannot get out of.”