A network of ambulance drones could significantly increase the chance of survival following a cardiac arrest: from 8% to 80%! Drone Alec Momont of TU Delft’s Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering designed his prototype for an ambulance drone together with the Living Tomorrow innovation platform as part of his graduation programme.
Via a live stream video and audio connection, the drone can also provide direct feedback to the emergency services and the persons on site 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.
‘ Defibrillator So Momont set to work and designed a new type of drone: a compact flying ‘medical toolbox’, which carries essential medical equipment that anybody can use.
The ambulance drone can get a defibrillator to a patient inside a 12 km2 zone within one minute.
Webcam The communications channel built into the drone is also very important.
The presence of the emergency operator via the drone’s loudspeaker helps to reduce the panic of the situation.
‘ Five years Momont proposes expanding the existing emergency medical infrastructure with a network of fast and compact drones that have communication capabilities and can carry medical auxiliary equipment.
‘The costs should not be an issue; I have calculated these at approximately €15,000 per drone, which is clearly a reasonable amount if you consider the number of lives that could be saved.
‘ ‘There are still a number of obstacles in the way of the development of the ambulance drone,’ says Momont.
The drone can fly autonomously this is still not permitted by law.
The drone has not yet been tested on ‘real’ patients, and the object avoidance system for avoiding obstacles in the drone’s path needs improvement.
Momont developed the ambulance drone in collaboration with the Belgian innovation platform Living Tomorrow, which helped to fund the project.