Drones equipped with emergency equipment are 32% faster when responding to emergencies than ambulances, a new study has found.
Researchers at the American Academy of Pediatrics tested emergency response times between manned ambulances and a series of drone flights, finding that the unmanned aerial vehicles were three minutes faster.
Scientists have suggested that the enhanced response times combined with drones equipped with key medical supplies such as asthma pumps, defibrillators and communication devices could be used to help those suffering from a range of emergency conditions.
The data was collected using a series of test flights in New York City compared with response times of emergency services during rush hour traffic.
Results showed that ambulances had a response time of 9.54 minutes to life-threatening calls with a travel speed of 5.04mph and a response time of 13.9 minutes for non-life threatening calls.
Comparably, drones were able to respond to both life-threatening and non-life threatening calls in an average of 6.48 minutes at a speed of 6.54mph.
Mark Hanna, MD, said of the study: “Drones, when used appropriately, represent the ideal marriage between enhanced prehospital care and telemedicine for our future. “This may prove to be profound in the unique paediatric setting.”