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Estonia, Airbus Helicopters and International SOS start developing a next-generation emergency medical system

Estonia, Airbus Helicopters and International SOS signed a cooperation agreement for developing and implementing the LifeSaver Estonia program, a national innovation and investment project, to intensify emergency medicine and the healthcare system in Estonia.

“Airbus Helicopters has developed the LifeSaver program together with the company International SOS to create a comprehensive emergency medicine system,” says Wolfgang Schoder, Vice President of Airbus Helicopters. “Based on long-term experience and extensive knowledge of cooperation with medical service operators, we want to further develop the system in Estonia, using Estonia’s outstanding capabilities in aviation, medicine, and the digital field,” Schoder adds.

“Estonia is contributing to the global aviation sector with innovation,” says Joonas Vänto, Director of Invest Estonia. “Estonia is a great hub for innovation, the solutions developed and tested here will be later available to the whole world. We are happy to see that Estonia’s excellence in innovation, strong technological and IT competence and agile cooperation with international partners keep bringing new aviation innovators like Airbus to Estonia.”

As you may already expect from Estonia, the program is focusing on innovative technologies.

“The unmanned and electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft and drones are good examples here,” notes Andres Sutt, the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology of Estonia. The project will use innovative solutions based on artificial intelligence to create the best possible conditions for both the development and improvement of Estonia’s health care and emergency medicine systems.

According to Sutt, the volume of providing emergency medical services is showing rapid growth globally, and the program opens up unprecedented international business opportunities for members of the Estonian aviation cluster and other project participants. “The goal is to identify and create relevant application opportunities for as many countries as possible to maximize the export opportunities of Estonian companies involved in the development of solutions,” Sutt notes.


Estonia leads Europe’s unmanned air traffic management

“The LifeSaver Estonia program plays a very important role in the rapid integration of next-generation aircraft into the airspace. In addition, it helps to secure Estonia’s position in Europe as an important advocate and carrier in the field of unmanned air traffic management,” says Kristo Reinsalu, head of the Estonian Aviation Cluster.

“For Tartu, cooperation with Airbus and International SOS means a strong addition to the future aviation ecosystem in the region,” says one of the project initiators Asso Uibo, Invest Estonia’s Director of Regional Business Development in South Estonia. “We are not only testing ground-breaking technologies together but also transferring and applying them to everyday life,” Uibo adds.

“Our common ambition is to take a big step forward from flashy individual flight tests and move to a full-scale integration phase, where, for example, eVTOLs and drones are a natural part of the emergency medical service,” Uibo comments. According to him, the plan is supported by R&D units related to the universities of Tartu, Tarty University Hospital, and the network of medical institutions in Southern Estonia.

Estonia’s second biggest city, Tartu has been a centre for aviation development in Estonia for years. Since 1990, pilots have been trained at Nõo Reaalgümnaasium near Tartu, and since 1993, the Estonian Aviation Academy is educating and training specialists for international aviation enterprises and organisations.

The first step is to develop and coordinate the details of the LifeSaver Estonia program with all relevant stakeholders in Estonia. For that, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior, the Health Board, Estonian Rescue Board, Estonian Police and Border Guard Board and representatives of hospitals are involved.

In practice, it means that the program will evaluate Estonia’s current first aid and emergency medicine system and identify the most important use cases for Estonia. These may include reducing response time, providing essential medical care to low population density areas, or optimizing the overall medical logistics network.

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