By Chris Stonor
Two weeks ago, Everdrone AB, a Swedish drone logistics company, successfully performed a demonstration together with Forum Virium Helsinki where – for the first time ever – a drone delivering an AED (automated external defibrillator) was operated from another country, reports a press release.
During the trial, the drone was operated remotely from Everdrone Mission Control Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden, over 800 km away from the flight location in Helsinki, Finland.
Ground Operations Manager Daniel Blecher of Everdrone AB, explained, “With a safety operator on-site monitoring the operations in Helsinki, a number of missions was carried out during the pilot, in which an autonomous drone flew to the scene of a simulated emergency and lowered an AED to the ground using a winch system, before flying back to the launch location.”
He continued, “The missions were performed over a simulation of a residential area in order to showcase the intelligent route planning and autonomous flying capabilities of the drone.”
In Finland, 5,000–10,000 people die from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year. Getting help to the patient as soon as possible could save a heart patient’s life.
The release says, “By deploying drones equipped with AEDs to the scene of emergency situations, bystanders are given the ability to initiate life-saving measures while awaiting professional medical care.”
And goes on, “In the case of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, the chance of survival decreases by 10 percent with each minute following the collapse, so beating the ambulance response time and thereby enabling early defibrillation can literally mean the difference between life and death.”
In real-life emergency situations, “the drone flies autonomously to the location where it is needed and lowers the defibrillator to the person assisting the patient.” The route of the drone is “automatically planned to avoid densely populated residential areas and crowds as much as reasonably possible.”
As part of the trial, information and data is amassed on how a drone can accelerate the initiation of life-saving measures in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest situations in Helsinki, Finland. The CO2 emissions of the drone-delivery compared to other modes of transport will also be looked at.
This pilot is a part of the ‘Carbon neutral drone service solutions in Southern Finland’ project piloting and promoting carbon neutral drone services. At the same time, the project wants to develop new business models for the needs of various industries. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the project ends at the end of 2021.
Forum Virium Helsinki works with smart mobility, drone services and the healthcare sector also in other projects and pilots. Virium is the City of Helsinki innovation company.
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