Leonardo, SIAARTI and REMOTE 2018 team up for the "Flying Hospital"

Leonardo, SIAARTI and REMOTE 2018 team up for the "Flying Hospital"

The HEMS congress will take place at AgustaWestland's home: we talked with Luca Tonini, Leonardo Helicopters VP Marketing EMS / SAR / Utility Segment

by Stefano Silvestre

A market to be conquered and reinvented, we’re talking about helicopters. A system to be regulated, we’re talking  about HEMS crews. An industry to be expanded and standardized, we’re talking  about the training of rescue personnel. Two years after the debut of the new AW169, Leonardo is working on several fronts to achieve an ambitious goal: give life to a new "HEMS ecosystem", an ideal environment in which the synergy between manufacturers, physicians and rescue crews produces concrete effects on the development of machines that contribute decisively to saving thousands of lives all around the world.

That’s the reason why Leonardo recently made agreements with the Alpine Rescue Unit, with AAROI EMAC (the Italian Hospital Rescue Anesthetist Association) and, above all, the collaboration with the Italian Society of Analgesia Reanimation and Intensive Care (SIAARTI), which has given life at the conference-event REMOTE International HEMS Meeting 2018 scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2 in Vergiate, the "home" of AgustaWestland.

In order to better understand Leonardo's commitment, we spoke with Luca Tonini, VP Marketing EMS/SAR/ Utility Segment for Leonardo Helicopters.

Mr Tonini, why did Leonardo choose to host REMOTE International HEMS Meeting 2018?

Because Leonardo is heavily investing in scientific research, which is the natural place for a leading company that believes in direct support for the evolution of the systems in which it operates. Leonardo believes in REMOTE because the company strongly believes in the potential of the EMS market in terms of its real impact on people's health and, consequently, on the global health system. In the next 10 years, the estimates there’ll be demand for more than 1,000 EMS helicopters all over the world: there is a market to be reinvented, both in consideration of the advanced age of the global fleet and the need to develop more and more specialized helicopter. To achieve these goals, the only way is to act synergistically with the main players in the industry, doctors and rescuers first of all. Thanks to these collaborations, Leonardo will play a primary role in the development of the helicopter of the future.

Leonardo has already committed to supporting specialized training centers.

Exactly. Training the HEMS crew of the future is fundamental in the creation of a standardized helicopter rescue system with uniform levels of service throughout the operating area. The Emergency Simulation Training Academy of the Italian Red Cross in Bologna - which among other things relies on the mockup of the AW169 HEMS kit - is a virtuous example in this sense and has also become the SIAARTI’s HQ of Simulation in which it is carried forward all the scientific research necessary to support the analysis and the adoption of the best practices addressed to HMES from the healthcare point of view. There’s also HEROS, the training center for EMS crews on which Leonardo has been working for a long time and which represents Leonardo's response to the training needs of doctors, nurses, rescuers and flight crews through CRM courses to improve safety and the efficiency of the service.

The most important issue on the agenda is today the new SIAARTI’s HEMS guidelines.

It is a decisive initiative aimed at increasing the quality of the HEMS system and it is the same industrial discourse. The activities of SIAARTI are also supported by the main players in the field, by the anaesthesiologists AAROI-EMAC, who will also be responsible for enforcing the lines in practice, through the Alpine Rescue and HEMS Association: all will offer their expertise and experience to get the best result possible.

Sounds like a unique voice for the world of helicopter rescue.

SIAARTI already succeeded in a matter that was not obvious at all. The truth is that at the moment there are no standards on the development of HEMS helicopters. Who is responsible for developing HEMS onboard kits, that’s another factor to consider, does not do it according to scientific community’s advice. Therefore, SIAARTI’s HEMS guidelines will form the basis for the development of HEMS helicopters in aircraft specifically created with the aim of saving lives.