Ambulance Drone Could Deliver Life-Saving Care in Under a Minute

Only 8% of people who suffer from cardiac arrest survive this incident. An ambulance drone could deliver automated defibrillation to any patient in a four square miles within a minute, increasing survival rates up to 80%. 

Drones have garnered a lot of negative attention due to their destructive capabilities and application, which were highlighted recently in John Oliver’s powerful piece on predator drones. Drones, however, also have the potential to revolutionize transportation, mail delivery, emergency health care, disaster relief.

Dutch student Alec Momont focused his Masters thesis research project on using drones for good. More specifically, he developed the Ambulance Drone that could deliver automated defibrillation to any patient in a 12 square kilometers (7.5 square miles) area within 1 minute, increasing survival rates to 80%. 

The first minutes after an accident are critical and essential to provide the right care to prevent escalation. Speeding up emergency response can prevent deaths and accelerate recovery dramatically. This is notably true for heart failure, drowning, traumas and respiratory issues (...) In the European Union around 800,000 people per year suffer from a cardiac arrest, an upsetting number considering that only 8% survives this incident. The main reason for this high number of casualties is the relatively slow response time of emergency services (10 minutes). Brain death and permanent death start to occur in just 4 to 6 minutes.

The Ambulance Drone has a special type of frame that can carry essential supplies for life support that even a lay-person can use. In addition, the drone has communication capabilities that allow 112 operators to instruct first responders on how to deliver better first care. Currently, successful automated defibrillator usage by regular people is at 20%, but with personalized instructions it could be increased to 90%.

The Ambulance Drone is still a prototype, and Momont hopes to raise funding to continue its development. Once regulations for drones are in place and they are allowed to fly autonomously, they could provide a valuable extension to the existing emergency infrastructure. They will be independent of existing road infrastructure and will allow a much faster response, delivery of emergency supplies, and communication anywhere. 

Photos: Alec Momont

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less