The word ‘drone’ may trigger unpleasant memories for many of us but a drone devised by a Dutch Industrial Engineering graduate is here to try to save lives. Called the Ambulance Drone, the sir-borne device has an in-built defibrillator meant to revive victims of sudden collapse. For demonstration, Alec Momont has built the drone prototype that, for demonstration purposes, has been fitted with easy-to-use defibrillation patches.
Alec aims to infuse and power up the existent healthcare response system with speedy enablers such as the Drone he has designed. To justify the need for his invention, Alec refers to statistics that show a meagre 8% survival rate among the 800,000 victims who suffer a cardiac arrest in the EU annually. He believes the use of Ambulance Drones can hike the survival rate to up to 80%. He explains that studies show 20% defibrillator usage literacy which can be further augmented by fitting the planes with mini screen and camera for on-the-scene instructional guidance from healthcare personnel.
The video released by Technische Universiteit Delft (Delft University of Technology) shows how the emergency response systems works to reach the scene in a matter of a few minutes. The mini-plane is capable of delivering a flight speed of about 100 kilometers per hour. Weighing around 4 kilograms, it can carry a load of its own weight.
When a person collapses and becomes unconscious, a by-stander can call the 112 Helpline which will redirect to the Ambulance Drone Service. On receiving information on the whereabouts of the victims, the Drone shall be dispatched using a GPS tool that identifies the phone signal from the caller. The device will then take off and navigate through the city and land at the spot.
The prototype can be re-imagined for various other situations that require emergency response systems as it can apparently carry up to 4 kgs. Possible ways to put it to healthcare emergency use include oxygen back-up for house-fire victims, insulin and other drugs for patients. Drone shuttle systems can effectively reduce fatalities due to delay in administration of first aid. It also eliminates the need to rely solely on road transport with its inevitable hiccups and obstacles, to deliver urgent needs to patients and victims in parts of the city as well as to those places cut off from the roadways network.
Recently, Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay launched a blood test service using drones like these to carry blood samples back and forth across hilly area dwellings and the health centers in the plateaus.