NBAA Convention News

Adroit patient monitor streams video

 - October 14, 2009, 12:10 PM

Last year, RDT (Booth No. 1273) introduced the new Tempus IC (integrated communications) version of its in-flight medical emergency response system, presented as a breakthrough in telemedicine. The new model is significantly lighter and more compact than its predecessor, the Tempus 2000, and also offers new functions such as the streaming of live video.

According to the UK company, the new-generation Tempus sets new standards for a vital-signs monitor in terms of size, weight and robustness. It is claimed to be the world’s first monitor to enable users to transmit a full set of vital-signs data and simultaneous voice and video communication over a range of communication channels including Bluetooth, WiFi, GSM, GPRS and traditional telephone connections.

“Tempus IC is compatible with both new high-bandwidth in-flight communications systems and those in older aircraft with lower-bandwidth capability. Even the video streaming function will work with bandwidths as low as 64k baud,” explained RDT project development manager Tim Fry.

The device offers a wide range of features, including blood pressure, 12-lead EKG, capnometry and oximetry. This all comes in a small, light, sand-proof and water-resistant package that has been rigorously tested to ensure it can stand up to hard use in harsh environments.

According to RDT, the IC model has been well received by the business aviation market as well as by airlines and maritime users. The company has shipped more than 250 of the new systems with a further 100 on order.

“Tempus IC is the most communications-enabled patient monitor on the market,” said RDT chief executive Graham Murphy. “It transmits the vital signs routinely measured in an emergency room, so you can get the best remote diagnosis and treatment support available, even in flight. Additionally, its in-built communications capabilities mean it can be used everywhere you go, both on and off the plane. This is important in places where cultural and language barriers make it difficult to get the proper care, or the medical care available is not of an international standard.”
Tempus IC never needs to be recalibrated, unlike its predecessor Tempus 2000 which had to be adjusted by the manufacturer every 15 to 18 months. The new unit weighs about five pounds, which is approximately a quarter of the weight of the original system.

The system has been designed with clear visual and audio instructions to guide users through every process, so it can be operated by people with no experience. The functions are depicted on a daylight-readable touchscreen.

All the equipment and instructions are color-coded to be as intuitive as possible. When the medical examination is complete, the system guides the user to repack the equipment and prompts them to check whether consumable items, such as thermometer covers, need to be reordered.

The Tempus IC also boasts improved battery life–up to six hours–and can be run on any mains electrical power source. Given that utilization rates for business aircraft users will typically be infrequent, the battery selected will retain almost full performance even if it is not used more than once a year.

The equipment can be switched on while it is still in the bag and the battery life can be checked externally, too. The new Tempus IC case is much more discreet than the original packaging and looks like a generic piece of electrical equipment, such as a laptop or video camera. Standard list price is $65,355. The company is offering the unit for $59,000 if the order is received within 14 working days of the show.
RDT has just launched a new Web site (, where customers can view a video outlining the product and also follow the course of a real medical incident.