Etihad Airways is installing new advanced technology on its long-haul aircraft that can monitor the condition of passengers who display signs of illness that...

Etihad Airways is installing new advanced technology on its long-haul aircraft that can monitor the condition of passengers who display signs of illness that might require immediate medical attention.

The ‘Tempus IC’ system allows cabin crew to gather vital information about a passenger’s health quickly and efficiently, according to Etihad Airways. The data covers a wide range of ‘vital signs’, including blood pressure and an electrocardiogram. It also allows the crew to take photo imagery.


The ‘Tempus IC’ system that Etihad Airways is installing in its long-haul aircraft allows cabin crew to gather vital information about a passenger’s health quickly and efficiently and relay it to a team of medical experts on the ground, who then can assist with decisions regarding how best to deal with the medical contingency, including whether it is best to land the aircraft as soon as possible at a diversionary airfield. The data gathered by the Tempus IC system covers a wide range of ‘vital signs’, including blood pressure, breathing rate, blood sugar level and an electrocardiogram. It also allows the crew to take photo imagery of the patient's symptoms and vital signs

This information is then transmitted to a medical team of global experts who are specialized in assisting in-flight medical contingencies. Following their advice the crew will take a decision about what to do next for the passenger and the flight.

“Passenger welfare and safety is of the utmost importance to Etihad Airways and the introduction of the Tempus IC system will ensure that when medical emergencies do occur they are evaluated quickly,” says Captain Richard Hill, Etihad Airways’ chief operations officer. “This helps ensure that the passenger can receive the appropriate treatment when the aircraft lands, whether this is as a diversion or at its final destination.”

At the end of 2009, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways' long-haul fleet included seven Airbus A340-600s, four A340-500s, six Boeing 777-300ERs, one Airbus A330-300 and 16 A330-200s. This photograph shows one of Etihad's A340-600s taking off from Abu Dhabi International Airport

Etihad will first introduce the Tempus IC technology ― designed and manufactured by UK-based RDT ― on its Airbus A340s, which operate to New York and Chicago, as well as on Boeing 777-300ERs, which Etihad operates to Toronto. Then the airline will install Tempus IC equipment throughout its entire long-haul fleet.

The airline operates daily non-stop services from New York and Chicago to Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Airways is based in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It serves more than 60 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and North America. (The airline’s destinations in North America are New York, Chicago and Toronto.)

“We know from our existing Tempus customers and the in-flight trials with Etihad cabin crew that Tempus technology, with its unique ease-of-use help screens and features, makes a significant difference to quality and speed of on-board medical care,” says Grahame Fever, commercial aviation sales director for RDT.