14 June 2017

NEWS: Drones faster than ambulances

The robot paramedic.

If you've ever had to pull your car up onto the curb to let an ambulance whizz by, you'll know that paramedics can get about pretty quickly. However, what if medical assistance could be sent somewhere without having to worry about the traffic? Trials undertaken in and around Stockholm, Sweden, have proven that defibrillator drones (drones with built-in defibrillators for members of the public to use) can get to an emergency situation far quicker than ambulances along the ground.

During the tests, 18 flights where taken within a 10km range, with the drone arriving on the scene after an average of five minutes, compared to the ambulance's 22 minutes average. This is a pretty big difference, as for every minute a heart attack sufferer is without defibrillation, the chance of them surviving decreases by 10%.

Jacob Hollenberg of the Karolinska Institute – the company who set up the drone trial – commented: "If we can decrease the time in cardiac arrest from collapse to defibrillation by a few minutes, hundreds of lives would be saved each year. Hopefully we will be up and running within a year or two." So perhaps one day soon you might hear nee-naw nee-naw coming from above.

© The Test Pit

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