BMT Design & Technology (BMT), a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd, has supported the Aeromedical Innovation Australasia (AIA), to help assess the medical care benefits and cost implications of using Tiltrotor aircraft to provide aeromedical services to rural areas of Australia.
Paul Adams, Chairman at AIA comments: “Remotely located individuals in Australia face challenges in accessing tertiary-level healthcare. As a charity, we advocate the use of cutting-edge solutions that restore equity. Tiltrotors can efficiently save hours, reduce patient movement, and minimize exposure to altitude. Cost savings can be realised by reducing the number of required operating bases, aircraft and personnel. Lives depend on this best-practice initiative.”
Working with AIA, BMT developed a highly configurable Discrete Event Simulation (DES) model using FlexSim® to fast track the evaluation of Tiltrotors and quantify the associated costs. To provide a basis for comparison, the performance of the current cohort of ambulances, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft were evaluated alongside the Tiltrotor in a variety of scenarios.
The model simulated the performance of the various response vehicles, taking into consideration parameters such as speed, range, human resource requirements and vehicle base location. Subject matter experts were consulted so that accepted aeromedical response strategies could be included within the model to accurately predict the outcomes. Key performance metrics such as time to tertiary care, vehicle/personnel utilisation and process complexity, i.e. the number of transitions and patient hand overs, were recorded for each scenario.
Unlike conventional spreadsheet based models, DES models can be customized to simulate a wide variety of aeromedical responses. Incident location, vehicle parameters and response strategy can easily be modified to trial a multitude of use cases. This approach provides rapid, cost effective analysis and facilitates risk reduced implementation, since proposed strategies can be investigated long before implementation and without the need to perform expensive and time consuming physical trials.
Aidan Depetro, Lead modelling & simulation engineer at BMT, says: “Discrete Event Simulation takes us into a new capability dimension enabling us to efficiently demonstrate and visualise concepts using practical, relatable scenarios. Importantly, once a model is constructed, it is very easy to run a multitude of hypothetical scenarios to explore the solution space and answer the emergent questions.”