Alidaunia S.R.L. gains critical connectivity for HEMS through SKYTRAC

Avatar for Glenn SandsBy Glenn Sands | June 23, 2022

Estimated reading time 4 minutes, 4 seconds.

SKYTRAC Systems, a global leader in aerospace intelligent connectivity and satellite communications, has announced that Alidaunia S.R.L., a leading Italian air ambulance, charter, and passenger services provider, is fitting SKYTRAC’s medical data transfer and telemedicine capability to its fleet of Leonardo AW139 and AW169 helicopters. 

In 2019, Alidaunia began testing SKYTRAC’s ISAT-200A-07, a unique all-in-one L-Band Satellite Data Unit with Onboard Server and Data Acquisition, to allow real-time Health and Usage Monitoring (HUMS) and automated data offloading to optimize its helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS), and civil protection operations. The success of this trial led to Alidaunia becoming an official distributor and installer of SKYTRAC’s industry-leading Satcom hardware in Leonardo aircraft.

SKYTRAC’s partnership with Iridium allows it to utilise the latter’s low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite network. Unlike systems that utilise geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO) satellites, where the antenna must look through the rotor blades to connect to a satellite, the LEO Iridium network antennas connect to satellites near the horizon, essentially looking underneath the rotor blades. Using this improved method has resulted in uptime reliability of 99.9 percent, meaning that HEMS crews are always connected.  

Improved connectivity with SKYTRAC’s systems now means a patient’s condition can be relayed to the hospital during the flight. Photo Alidaunia

SKYTRAC estimates that around 60 percent of its various connectivity installations are now within the helicopter sector.   

The Alidaunia and SKYTRAC combination allows medical data transfer and telemedicine capabilities on the helicopters using satellite and cellular connectivity. With this new capability, Alidaunia’s air medical crew can stream patient vitals in real-time from onboard medical devices and live-stream video via Google Glasses so that remote physicians can have accurate insight into dynamically changing patient conditions. Healthcare practitioners can also access 12-lead ECG reports before the patient’s arrival, saving valuable preparation time.

“Remote physicians and receiving hospitals no longer have to rely on voice communication to gather an understanding of the patient’s in-flight condition,” says Jan van der Heul, vice president of sales and marketing at SKYTRAC. “Transmitting medical data and live-streaming video marks a significant technological advancement that allows for fast, informed decision-making that ultimately improves patient care.”

These capabilities are possible by the multifunctional ISAT-200A-07 supplemented by the Dynamic Air Link 200 (DAL-200), which allows the transmission of patient data when cellular connectivity is available. When cellular connectivity is unavailable, SKYTRAC’s ISAT-200A-07 encrypts and transmits secure medical data via satellite.

“We founded Alidaunia nearly 50 years ago to serve the community of Southern Italy, and we continue to invest in innovative technologies in the search for the best service, quality, and safety,” says Vincenzo Pucillo, chief operating officer at Alidaunia. “SKYTRAC’s EMS solution empowers our remote team with unparalleled insight into the in-flight circumstances to better support onboard crew in providing life-saving patient care. We see this project as a revolutionary step forward for the entire HEMS industry.”

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