A fascinating new take has emerged on the concept of medical assistance as well as methods of trying to reduce response time in emergency situations. Although drones are already in use for a variety of different purposes, ranging from delivering packages to photography to performing aerial surveys, this is the very first time that these mechanical creations, which are able to manoeuvre on their own, have been used to deal with medical crises. In an emergency that involves the heart, every moment counts and every second that is lost by an ambulance as they try to reach the patient can cut down the chances of that patient surviving the medical emergency.
The Ambulance Drone
The new “flying defibrillator”, as it has been dubbed, is the creation of an engineering graduate from Belgium, Alec Momont. Momont, who has personally called his invention the “Ambulance drone”, says that his creation is an unmanned and autonomous flying miniature drone that comes complete with a defibrillator. The twenty three year old says that such a device is a matter of necessity, with around eight hundred thousand people suffering a medical emergency relating to the heart every year in the European Union and just eight percent of those actually survive the incident.
Time is Critical
Momont claims that at least a large part of the reason for such a high mortality rate as a result of these emergencies is that the emergency services have a relatively lengthy response time of around ten minutes, while fatalities and brain death can occur within as little as four minutes following such a crisis. On the other hand, the ambulance drone is capable of delivering to a patient a potentially life-saving defibrillator inside of just a minute in a twelve square kilometre area. That would mean that the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest increase from just eight percent to as high a probability as eighty percent.
The Ambulance drone is designed to be able to track mobile telephone calls that are made to the emergency services and can use standard GPS protocols in order to identify the location from which the call is being made. The drone comes equipped with cameras, a microphone and speakers to enable the caller to hear instructions from emergency medical personnel that could save the patient’s life. The Ambulance drone can carry up to four kilograms of weight and is painted in emergency response vehicle colours.