Rega

Communication system

Swiss Air-Rescue Rega has renewed the IT systems of its operations centre.
A clear, new user interface helps the flight coordinators to manage communication under critical conditions.

About the project

Rega completes more than 12'000 rescue missions per year with 12 helicopter bases all over Switzerland. The communication software used to manage all channels in the helicopter operations centre (phone, radiocommunication, text messaging) has been renewed with a customer specific VoIP system in 2019. It integrates perfectly with all current tools in action. The intuitive user interface is tailored to avoid errors and help the flight coordinators keep an overview of all ongoing communication processes. Live operation started on schedule at the beginning of July 2019.
Rega helicopter next to a paramedic and a stretcher
© Rega
The flight coordinator answers calls from people in emergencies and acts as a link between flight crew, doctors, hospitals, police and other ambulances throughout a mission. From the very start of an incoming distress call to the safe delivery of the patient at a hospital or other medical care institution he or she ensures that the rescue by helicopter can be carried out as efficiently as possible and with no delay. It is crucial that the tools in action are reliable and do not hinder the workflows in the operations centre.
The user interface is designed to seamlessly blend in with the existing tools and processes. It is simple and clear to understand and reduces the risk of errors within this time critical environment.
Screenshot of Rega communication software with incoming call and active radio call
Screenshot of Rega communication software with twa active calls
Screenshot of Rega communication software replaying call
The system is one component of the flight coordinator's workstation. The question, how it would appear in combination with all other tools, needed to be answered. A destinct use of few but contrasting colors in combination with a plain iconography, helps focus on important information, without distracting the flight coordinator from other relevant tools.
Scans of UI sketches with lots of Post-ItsScans of UI sketches with lots of Post-Its

Our efforts

For the success of the project, it was crucial to involve the flight coordinators and offer them solutions that make their everyday work easier. In workshops, all concepts were shaped in collaboration with them and tested on the basis of everday scenarios. We used various evaluation methods, starting with paper prototypes and evolving to pixel perfect screen designs. The results of this close cooperation are reflected in the implemented application.

Our partner Super Computing Systems (SCS) developed the software and kept an eye on the technical feasibility of our ideas and wishes of the flight coordinators during the creative phase. Together with SCS we made sure, that the implementation of the design complied with the high quality standards of this project.

Challenges

  • Design for emergency situations
  • Fixed release schedule
  • Integration into interface landscape