Everdrone is now deploying a drone system that delivers Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to the scene of cardiac arrests.
In doing so, bystanders will now have the ability to initiate life-saving measures while awaiting professional medical care.
Now available to more than 80,000 residents in the Gothenburg area of Sweden, the service is part of a clinical study in collaboration with Sweden’s national emergency call centre, SOS Alarm, and the Centre for Resuscitation Science at Karolinska Institutet (KI).
The company’s CEO, Mats Sällström said: “By combining our state-of-the-art drone platform and know-how in the regulatory space, we are finally able to launch this life-saving application.”
Adding: “The collaboration with SOS Alarm and KI has been absolutely crucial for the realization of the concept in terms of being able to perform a swift alarm response, and to manage the medical and ethical issues involved.”
The initial study will launch in June and run through the end of September 2020. Three drone systems will be placed in designated locations, ready to respond to emergency 112-calls immediately for emergencies occurring within a radius of 6 km.
Mattias Regnell, head of innovation and research at SOS Alarm, said: “In the event of a cardiac arrest, the drone is dispatched at the same time as the ambulance and will certainly be the first to arrive on the scene. Our operators are ready to instruct bystanders on how to initiate the life-saving device.”
When the drone arrives at the designated location, the AED is lowered to the ground while the drone remains hovering at 30 metres altitude. This procedure eliminates several risks associated with landing a drone close to people.
Commenting on the safety aspects, Sällström added: “Safety is at the core of everything we do at Everdrone. Even though the drones we use are extremely safe in themselves, we still need to foresee every conceivable fault scenario and put solutions in place to handle them. The system must contain a great many functions that overlap and complement each other, to ensure that no single point of failure can lead to an accident.”
The outcome of the emergency operations will continuously be evaluated within a research study conducted by KI.
The results of the study will be presented by KI later this year, with the hope of expanding operations to other parts of Sweden and Europe by 2021.
The project has received funding from the Eurostars-2 Joint Programme with co-funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.