Everdrone, a “global leader in autonomous drone technology,” recently announced on the company website that its drones are now being used to deliver Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to the scene of cardiac arrests. The service presently reaches 80,000 residents in the Gothenburg area and is part of a collaboration with Sweden’s national emergency call centre, SOS Alarm, and the Centre for Resuscitation Science at Karolinska Institutet (KI).
The company disclosed last week that operations are expanding internationally thanks to an agreement with the Copenhagen Emergency Medical Services. As for the Swedish activity, KI will remain in a leading role for medical research and follow-up of the project. Copenhagen EMS will act as a research partner and be responsible for emergency dispatch services to determine which calls need priority drone assistance.
Andreas Claesson principal investigator for the project at KI, said. “The research project in Sweden is developing as planned and the final feasibility evaluation will take place during the Autumn. We believe there is great potential in this system, but further investigation is required regarding its effect on a wider scale.”
Fredrik Folke, Head of Research at the Copenhagen Emergency Medical Services, commented, “In a cardiac arrest situation, it’s all about the response time and initiating treatment very quickly. By ensuring that our operators provide high quality CPR instructions via phone, while the drone delivers an AED to the scene within minutes, bystanders can initiate life-saving measures before the arrival of the ambulance.” Adding, “The method of using drones to deliver emergency medical supplies shows great potential and may save numerous lives.”
The drone service will be deployed in Denmark during the spring of 2021. Expectations are to initially reach more than 100,000 people in rural and semi-urban areas where the ambulance response times are relatively long.
Mats Sällström, CEO of Everdrone, said, “The deployment of the drone system in Gothenburg is an excellent start and we hope to make it a permanent part of Sweden’s emergency dispatch.” He continued, “Based on what we have learned, we’ll refine the technology and operational procedures to improve response times with faster drones and optimised route planning, to make the system even more efficient and robust before launching in Denmark.”
The project has received funding of EUR350,000 from the Eurostars-2 Joint Programme with co-funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.
Everdrone develops technology for autonomous drones with its test and development facilities located at Säve Airport near Gothenburg. The company focuses on civil applications for commercial drones, primarily for use within the healthcare and emergency response sector.
To date, Everdrone has performed more than 13,000 autonomous flights in laboratory and outdoor settings, as well as more than 1.8 million simulated flights.
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