Emergency healthcare has evolved over the decades and is undoubtedly at its unprecedented best. But there is always room for improvement, especially when it relates to something as serious as life and death. There are many medical conditions that offer little scope for emergency responses. Fatal accidents, cardiac arrests and strokes among many other conditions can be extremely challenging to respond to. Of more than 800,000 people suffering cardiac arrests across the European Union in a year, only 8% manage to survive. That is a staggering 740,000 and possibly more succumbing to cardiac arrests.
Most cardiac arrests can be contained with a defibrillator. But the trouble is the time which emergency services take to reach a patient. Cardiac arrests typically leave six or eight minutes at the most for a person to survive and if no emergency response is available in those minutes, then chances of survival are less than 10%. Across Europe, the standard emergency response system takes ten minutes at the least. To quicken the emergency response system, Alec Momont has developed a drone that can carry a defibrillator to the exact place where a patient suffering cardiac arrest is and it can also facilitate the using of the defibrillator.
Alec Momont is a student of Delft Technical University’s Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering and as a part of his graduation program he has designed an autonomous, unmanned medical drone that will trace the cell phone signal of a person and will use GPS to fly to the place in less than eight or six minutes. The drone can cater to an area of 12 sq km and it can travel at a speed of about 100 km/h. It weighs 4 kg and it has a load bearing capacity of 4 kg. The drone can carry a defibrillator and it will also connect the people at the site to emergency healthcare personnel who can guide the people onsite to use the defibrillator for the person suffering cardiac arrest. The live audio and video connection can also get doctors to see and control the situation at the site. The drone is autonomous so there is little scope of human error or delays. No one has to dispatch the drone and it can find its way without any remote monitoring or controlling.
This is not the first time drones are being used for delivering medical equipment or any other item. Domestic and international couriers have been testing drones across several countries. Even some cheap international couriers send parcel to Netherlands using drones. But the context in which this medical drone has been designed is certainly life altering, and life saving.