Companies are starting to use drones to respond to emergency calls and deliver life-saving equipment and medications to patients faster.
One of those ambulance drone companies, Flirtey, has partnered with Reno, Nev., area first responders to participate in a trial that delivers automated external defibrillators for patients in cardiac arrest.
They also are looking to begin delivering EpiPens to patients suffering from anaphylaxis and Narcan for patients experiencing an opioid overdose.
Flirtey CEO Matthew Sweeney said he expects just one drone to save one life every two weeks as the program gets off the ground and begins to operate nationally.
“This model is a game-changer for the health of our communities and will prove the viability of this life-saving program, which has the potential to save over 1 million American lives over the decades to come,” said Sweeney in a JEMS article. “While saving lives, we will create jobs and help make America’s drone industry great.”
The company also claims it can increase cardiac survival from 10% to 47%. This goals seems rather loftty, as they provided no evidence to support this claim.
Ambulance drones can transport people
Speaking of drones, Austin, Texas-based Argodesign is looking to launch an ambulance drone about the size of a compact car that will be able to land almost anywhere, according to an article in the Daily Mail.
But don’t expect these drones to hit the streets anytime soon at a cost of $1 million each. (How many ground ambulances can we buy for $1 million?)
We also know patients rarely need air transport and that it can add an unnecessary level of danger. Since insurance companies don’t pay much for ambulance bills today, it’s certainly not realistic at this point for most patients.
One more thing I noticed is the drone ambulance only carries one first responder. Even with today’s technology, you need two providers to attend to a patient who truly needs air transport.
Check out the video on the ambulance drone.