Everdrone has announced today that it will begin to use autonomous drones in Sweden to deliver automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to the scenes of cardiac arrests. The drones will serve over 80,000 residents in the city of Gothenburg. They can be in the air within minutes and have a flight radius of 6 km (about 3.7 miles).
The drones will be part of a clinical study taking place in collaboration with Sweden’s emergency call center, SOS Alarm, and the Center for Resuscitation Science at Karolinska Institutet (KI). The study is looking at the feasibility of using drones to quickly deliver defibrillators. Past studies show low survival rates of patients when they aren’t able to be reached quickly. KI will report the results later this year in hopes of expanding the operation to other areas in Sweden and Europe by 2021.
How it works
Once an emergency call comes in, dispatchers send both a drone and an ambulance. The drone will usually arrive before the ambulance. It lowers the defibrillator with a winch from a height of 30 meters (about 98 feet). AEDs are designed to be used by laypeople. And the hope is that someone on site can use the device if paramedics are delayed in getting to the scene. Speed is crucial, as survival rates shoot up to 70% if a patient receives help within the first few minutes.
Everdrone’s drone is equipped with an Intel-based RealSense obstacle avoidance system and intelligent route planning to improve efficiency. A parachute system ensures the drone will land safely in the event of a mishap. As the drone in the video below looks to be a DJI Matrice 600 Pro, it also comes with DJI’s safety features. These include triple IMU and GPS redundancy, low voltage protection, smart return to home, and motor fault detection, which allows it to land safely, even if it’s missing a propeller.