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New App Assists During In-Flight Events


First-of-its-kind app helps airline crew respond to medical events during flight

MedAire – the world‘s leading provider of in-flight medical advice and assistance to commercial airlines – today announced the launch of its medical event assessment app. The app helps expedite time to care for passengers experiencing medical issues during flight, allowing crew to easily capture important diagnostic information and transmit it to MedAire’s medical advisory service, MedLink, for expert advice and assistance. 

“Flight crew are the first responders during in-flight medical events. Their role is critical in ensuring timely, appropriate care to a passenger,” said Dr Paulo Alves, Global Medical Director at MedAire. “This can be challenging given cabin communication limitations and the stress of being a first responder – even more so if the passenger has critical symptoms such as chest pain or a shortness of breath, or if they suspect the passenger may have an infectious disease.”

Airlines around the world participated in the BETA testing of the MedAire app prior to its launch. Icelandair, responsible for transporting more than 4.5 million passengers in 2019, was the first airline to officially go live with the new app as part of its standard safety protocols. 

The app was developed to help crew accurately gather necessary information - such as chief medical complaint, vital signs, symptoms, and medical history from the ill passenger. The information can then be seamlessly shared with the ground-based medical team at MedAire’s MedLink centre. 

In addition, the app provides detailed guidance for the crewmember on next steps for the most common – and serious – types of events that occur during flight. Guidance may include obtaining the onboard medical kit, providing oxygen, or donning personal precaution equipment (PPE). 

“The ability to communicate quickly and accurately with medical professionals can help both crew and passengers feel reassured that airlines are taking all precautions to mitigate safety and medical risks, including those associated with COVID-19,” continued Dr Alves. “The new functionality and app is part of MedAire’s standard in-flight MedLink service – relied on by airlines around the world – and demonstrates our continued commitment to provide solutions to support crew and passenger safety and confidence.” 

The new app complements the holistic approach to medical risk mitigation services offered by MedAire to help to support passenger confidence when flying. These include Covid-19/ Contagious Disease Health Screening for passengers and crew; medical advice and assistance for in flight medical issues; and cabin crew medical training.    

MedAire assists the majority of the world’s airlines and has managed hundreds of thousands of in-flight medical events over the last 30+ years. This extensive knowledge of the types and frequency of medical events that occur onboard informed the medical scenarios and recommendations included in the app.   

Airlines incorporating the app with their MedAire MedLink service receive: 
• Intuitive, guided patient assessment instructions for crew to expedite care based on type of medical event.
• Enhanced passenger and crew confidence in the ability for the carrier to respond to inflight medical events.
• Improved communications. The app provides the ability to communicate directly from the cabin via handheld device to MedAire’s MedLink doctors.

“Icelandair’s priority is passenger and crew safety. The collaboration with MedAire has been excellent and we are honoured to be the first airline worldwide to be using the MedAire app. It is very exciting to get the opportunity to integrate the app which will help our crew members manage medical emergencies in flight more efficiently,” said 
Jóna Björg Jónsdóttir, Health Manager Cabin Operations at Icelandair. “Icelandair continues to be a leading airline when it comes to combining safety and technology.”

Jónsdóttir continued, “Our crews have been impressed by the simplicity of using the app. Above all, they felt extremely confident knowing that support and professional guidance on how to handle medical emergencies was just a tap away. It also simplifies the paperwork and information gathering so the crews can focus on the passenger’s wellbeing and handle medically-concerning situations more quickly.”

The new app is available as part of MedAire’s MedLink medical advisory service for in-flight medical events. MedAire is assisting current clients with the implementation of the app based on each airline’s unique procedures, training and technologies.  

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