Scotland's MIME Technologies has produced a device which it claims will revolutionise in-flight medical care for millions of passengers.

It's team of physiologists, technologists and aviation medicine specialists have created Aiber, a wireless technology that provides support to cabin crew, pilots and clinicians on the ground.

Aiber can live stream a wide range of passenger data to the ground. This allows real-time digital communication between the crew, the passenger and clinical support. MINE Technologies, a med-tech spin-out from the University of Aberdeen, say Aiber is the first technology capable of achieving this.

"An in-flight medical event, even of a minor nature, can be hugely stressful for cabin crew," said Anne Roberts, co-founder & Chief Executive Officer of MIME Technologies.

"For the first time, clinicians on the ground will be able to follow, in real-time, the deterioration or improvement of a passenger in the air using wireless technology and the tech provides a seamless handover to emergency services meeting the aircraft.

"We believe the technology will help avoid unnecessary diversions but, more significantly, it will help save lives by providing ‘eyes in the sky’ on flights globally."

In-flight medical care emergencies occur in approximately 1 per 604 flights, said MIME. One major airline it spoke to said they can experience anything up to 60 flight diversions a year because of medical reasons. For one major airline it can cost between £38,500 - £464,000 per diverted flight.

in-flight medical care

Aiber has been developed with input from two of the world’s leading airlines. MINE say it is suitable for use by commercial airlines and business jets. It adds that the technology can integrate wireless, clinical-grade, heart sensing equipment; specifically designed for non-medical professionals like cabin crew.

It recently completed field trials with a global aviation company. MINE said that they had multiple commercial and business jet customers in the pipeline.

in-flight medical care

Dr Tim Stevenson, previously Head of Health Services at Virgin Atlantic Airways and Company Medical Adviser at Easyjet, was impressed.

"Aiber helps the crew on board make appropriate, evidence-based decisions," he said. "The ability to communicate so efficiently with the ground-based medical support teams, who can advise on particular avenues of treatment or indeed appropriate diversion options for the best possible treatment, is priceless. 

Roberts co-founded MIME with Dr. Alasdair Mort. Highlands & Islands Enterprise supports the company, which received investment led by Equity Gap and the Scottish Investment Bank in October.