A Dutch-based student has invented flying defibrillator able to reach heart attack victims within precious life-saving minutes… [see it in action here]
In light of the news today about the “ambulance drone” developed by Belgian engineering graduate Alec Momont, which can fly at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, it brings a whole new, and lifesaving, dimension to ‘Drones’. The drone can even be operated remotely by a Paramedic (perhaps a locum?), who can watch the scene, provide advice to those without defibrillator training, whilst relaying vital information to the Ambulance crews en-route to the incident… amazing really!
“Around 800,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest in the European Union every year and only 8.0 percent survive,”
With your brain lasting only a matter of minutes without sufficient oxygen, Momont believes his flying Automated External Defibrillators (AED’s) will provide that lifesaving shock to patients in need and support bystander CPR, arriving quicker than an ambulance.
“The ambulance drone can get a defibrillator to a patient within a 12 square kilometre (4.6 square miles) zone within a minute, reducing the chance of survival from 8 percent to 80 percent.”
It tracks emergency mobile calls and uses the GPS to navigate. Once at the scene, a remote operator, like a paramedic, can watch, talk and instruct those helping the victim by using an on-board camera connected to a control room via a livestream webcam. The prototype has already attracted the interest of emergency services including that of Amsterdam, the Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad said. Momont however wants his drone to become a “flying medical toolbox” able to carry an oxygen mask to a person trapped in a fire or an insulin injection to a diabetes sufferer.
However, the drone is still in its infancy as far as developing its steering mechanism and legal issues regarding its use are concerned, Momont said.
He said he hopes to have an operational emergency drone network across the Netherlands in five years.
The drone is expected to cost around 15,000 euros ($19,000) each.
“I hope it will save hundreds of lives in the next five years,” Momont said.