The race is on
Researchers in Sweden conducted a test on whether a drone or an ambulance had a faster response time. The aim of the test was to see which service was quicker to deliver an automatic defibrillator to a patient in cardiac arrest. The test conducted 18 consecutive flights for the drone with an average distance of 3.2 kilometres. The dispatch and travel time of the drone was compared to the emergency services. Who won? The drone did it with ease. It arrived more quickly to the scene every time. The results reduced an average 16 minutes in response time. You can read the study that was published in the journal JAMA in June 2017.
But how close are we to having this technology? There are certain risks at play before this technology can be used in everyday practices. Limitations include the weight of medical supplies, flying in extreme weather, legalities around a visual line of sight and flying over populated areas. But there are certainly more benefits to using this technology in the near future. A change in Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulations could allow drones to be flown in emergency circumstances. The drone is also capable of including audio and video communication channels for the person who requested the drone. These communication channels can give the person confidence to use the defibrillator properly. This technology can also have a huge benefit to people living in rural areas.
How far do you think it is before this drone technology can be applied?