Medical drone promises increased cardiac arrest survival rates

Alec Momont, a graduate student at Delft Technical University’s Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, has designed an unmanned, autonomous medical drone that can rapidly deliver a defibrillator to where it is needed.

The ambulance drone

Momont designed his prototype for an ambulance drone together with the Living Tomorrow innovation platform as part of his graduation programme. When the emergency services receive a cardiac arrest call, this unmanned, autonomous drone can quickly deliver a defibrillator to the emergency scene. Via a livestream video and audio connection, the drone can also provide direct feedback to the emergency services and persons at the scene can be instructed how to treat the patient. The drone finds the patient's location via the caller's mobile phone signal and makes its way there using GPS. The drone can fly at around 100 km/h, weighs 4 kg and can carry another 4 kg. The ambulance drone can get a defibrillator to a patient inside a 12 km2 zone within one minute. This response speed increases the chance of survival following a cardiac arrest from 8% to 80% .”Some 800,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest in the EU every year, and only 8% survive,” Momont explains. ”The main reason for this is the relatively long response time of the emergency services (approx. 10 minutes), while brain death and fatalities occur within 4 to 6 minutes.” The drone could be in service within the next 5 years.