A prototype of “drone ambulance, able to quickly carry a defibrillator to victims of cardiac arrest, was presented Tuesday at the University of Delft, Netherlands. It seems to have created lots of buzz in emergency services.
“About 800,000 people in the European Union suffer from cardiac arrests each year, and only 8% of them survive” , says Momont Alec, a 23 years Belgian engineering student who developed this drone.“The main reason is the relatively long time required for the emergency services to get there, about 10 minutes, while the death in this kind of situation occurs after 4-6 minutes,” he says.
According to Alec Momont, a ” drone ambulance ” could provide a defibrillator in one minute in an area of 12 square kilometers, increasing the chances of survival from 8-80%. Once there, the medical staff can communicate and give instructions to those present with the victim, using a microphone and an embedded camera, as shown in this video.
Equipped with six propellers, it can reach a speed of 100 km per hour and carry a load of four kilograms, the drone will move independently to locate an emergency call and use GPS data.
The drone is still a prototype, but it has already attracted the Dutch emergency services, and the Dutch Heart Foundation has praised this initiative. Alec Momont wants to develop a network of emergency drones in the Netherlands by the next five years. Ultimately the drone will become a kind of flying medical kit, including the capacity to provide an oxygen mask to a person trapped in a fire or a dose of insulin to a diabetic.
A structure built with carbon fiber and certain parts with a 3D printer, a drone ambulance should cost around 15,000 euros each. “I hope it will save hundreds of lives in the next five years “explains Alec Momont.