ESA TIA uses cookies to track visits to our website only. (read cookie policy)
    29 Mar 2015 
ARTES Elements
Tenders and Workplans
Last Update: 10 Aug 2007

Satellite enhanced coverage of MobiMed for helicopter air ambulances - Pilot Programme Phase 1



The objective of the project is to confirm the viability through realistic flight trials of this application of satellite communications technology. Its aim is to improve the medical services provided to the oil and gas industry by providing continuous ECG monitoring of patients during their helicopter evacuation from rigs in the north sea. ESYS are now tasked in this Phase 1 contract with developing the trial and the business case further and with providing a market exploitation plan that will attract additional investors and potential providers of the service to take up the concept. To this end, ESYS are now in the process of talking to a number of potential end users of the service. Initially, the intention is to focus on the needs of the oil and gas exploration industries operating in the North Sea area with the objective of gaining support for a full pilot system. This will use an existing air ambulance, an aircraft satellite terminal and the latest Ortivus 12-lead ECG monitoring equipment to demonstrate to the end users the value of the system.


The diagram illustrates the concept of a patient in a helicopter connected to a 12 lead ECG machine (the Ortivus MobiMed). This transmits continuous data (and voice) through a satellite to the hospital workstation where a specialist can interpret the ECG, speak with the paramedic in the helicopter and authorise the paramedic to administer suitable clot busting drugs.

Project Plan

The Phase 1 Pilot Study started in December 2001 and concluded in May 2002.


The key issue for the project is to confirm that a satellite terminal installed on a helicopter can provide reliable communications in the area of operation (where there is no GSM coverage away from the coast). While many fixed wing aircraft now have satellite communications installed, there are additional difficulties with helicopter installations that need to be resolved.


Helicopter transits from many oil rigs in the north sea can take up to 3 hours. However, if the medivac helicopter fitted with a satellite terminal can provide a continuous relay of the patients ECG results to a hospital specialist in real time, the patients treatment can commence in the helicopter. Studies have shown that a key element in the survival of heart attack patients is the time to treatment. Consequently the benefit of the air mobimed system will be seen through the faster recovery and lower mortality rates of affected patients.

Current Status (dated: 08 May 2002)

Phase 1 of the project started in December in 2001 and concluded in May 2002. Unfortunately the absence of a Phase 2 investor means that Phase 2 cannot be undertaken.

Last Update: 10 Aug 2007
Project Plan
Current Status
  Copyright 2000 - 2015 © European Space Agency. All rights reserved.