When a few moments count, unmanned aerial vehicles show huge benefit over traditional road transportation. That difference in speed is what makes defibrillators and drones a compelling solution. Now Swedish drone company Everdrone has announced that it is deploying a drone system that delivers Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to the scene of cardiac arrests. Bystanders will be able to use the AEDs before responders arrive.
“Out-of-hospital cardiac arrests affect some 275,000 individuals in Europe each year and carry a low survival rate of about 10%. Research suggests when CPR and early defibrillation is initiated within the first few minutes the survival rate could potentially increase to as much as 70%,” says the Everdrone press release. “Now available to more than 80,000 residents in the Gothenburg area of Sweden, the service is part of a clinical study in collaboration with Sweden’s national emergency call centre, SOS Alarm, and the Centre for Resuscitation Science at Karolinska Institutet (KI).”
“By combining our state-of-the-art drone platform and know-how in the regulatory space, we are finally able to launch this life-saving application,” says Mats Sällström, CEO of Everdrone. “The collaboration with SOS Alarm and KI has been absolutely crucial for the realization of the concept in terms of being able to perform a swift alarm response, and to manage the medical and ethical issues involved.”
Medical applications for automated drones push the envelope for all commercial applications, as the benefits to the community make them worth the effort to carefully study risk. Drone delivery of debrillators has been trialed before, but the Swedish study will provide much broader data that may lead to permanent adoption of the technology. “The initial study will launch in June and run through the end of September 2020. Three drone systems will be placed in designated locations, ready to respond to emergency 112-calls immediately for emergencies occurring within a radius of 6 km,” explains the Everdrone press release.
“In the event of a cardiac arrest, the drone is dispatched at the same time as the ambulance and will certainly be the first to arrive on the scene. Our operators are ready to instruct bystanders on how to initiate the life-saving device,” says Mattias Regnell, Head of Innovation and Research at SOS Alarm.
“When the drone arrives at the designated location, the AED is lowered to the ground while the drone remains hovering at 30 metres altitude. This procedure eliminates several risks associated with landing a drone close to people,” Everdrone explains.
“The method of lowering the defibrillator from the drone with the help of a winch is something we have been developing and testing for a long time,” says Sällström. “We have performed countless test deliveries in recent months, and the results show that the method works very well.”
“We see enormous potential for this type of fully-integrated drone system. This study is unique, the first of its kind in the world, and we look forward to objectively evaluating the project together with Everdrone and SOS Alarm,” says Andreas Claesson, Associate Professor at KI.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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