Flirtey, the drone delivery service company, has received a lot of press attention for its test deliveries of pizza and 7-Eleven but it appears to be conducting much more practical and market ready services in the medical arena. They are partnering with REMSA (Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority), a Nevada based emergency medical services provider, to launch the first automated external defibrillator (AED) drone delivery service in the United States.
Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of natural death in America, with more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cases each year, according to the American Heart Association. For every minute that a victim of cardiac arrest waits to receive defibrillation, their odds of survival decrease by about 10 percent. By using drones to deliver AEDs, Flirtey’s technology will increase the odds of surviving cardiac arrest and ultimately save lives.
Through the partnership, REMSA’s 9-1-1 communications center will simultaneously dispatch an ambulance and a drone with an AED to the scene of the emergency when they receive a cardiac arrest call. Delivering an AED by drone will cut down the response time and increase the likelihood of survival for cardiac arrest patients.
“Our mission is to save lives and change lifestyles by making delivery instant and partnering with REMSA is another huge step towards this goal,” said Flirtey CEO Matthew Sweeny. “We have the ability to deliver lifesaving aid into the hands of people who need it – why aren’t we as a society doing it already? This is one of the most important uses of drone delivery technology, and we believe that by democratizing access to this lifesaving aid, our technology will save more than a million lives over the decades to come.”
Emergency response times for ambulances can vary depending on their distance from the victim, traffic and call volume. Flirtey’s delivery drones will be able to fly directly to the victim and deliver critical aid efficiently and with precision – allowing bystanders to begin administering care while they wait for paramedics to arrive.
Together, Flirtey and REMSA are developing an emergency response and 9-1-1-integration process to allow for the rapid drone deployment program – including combining Flirtey’s flight planning software into REMSA’s highly-specialized patient care and transport programs. In addition to its ground ambulance system, REMSA also operates Care Flight, an airplane and helicopter air ambulance service, as well as a critical care ambulance. The partners are working together on FAA approvals and a public education campaign focused on integrating emergency drone AED delivery into the community.
“REMSA is committed to improving the health of the communities we serve through innovative, pre-hospital care,” said REMSA CEO Dean Dow. “We’re excited to incorporate Flirtey’s drone delivery technology as part of our emergency response in Northern Nevada. Providing quality, lifesaving care to patients as fast as possible is always our goal.”
On October 10, Sweeny delivered a TED talk at TEDxSanFrancisco to further discuss the urgency of this new program, and why it’s needed in every city across the country and around the world.