Defibrillators on Drones?


By: Brian T

As drones are becoming increasingly popular and affordable, they are being integrated into mainstream society better and better with people using them for filming, surveillance, and deliveries. Although drones can do these simpler things, what if they could save lives by carry defibrillators to people in cardiac arrest? As technology is advancing, hospitals may soon be able to dispatch drones carrying defibrillators. This could be a huge lifesaver for many people and could tip the balance between life and death for them.

When a heart stops beating, a defibrillator shock must be applied within minutes, and the chance of survival drops seven to ten percent for every minute there isn’t a defibrillator shock. Ambulances usually arrive within 5-10 minutes for urban areas and 20 minutes in urban areas, but usually by the time they arrive, it’s already too late. The drones can move at 100 kilometers an hour and they will be able to cut response times in half. With these new drones, it will make the difference between life and death for a lot of people.


With strategically placed “drone bases” around a city, the time it takes to get to a scene would be minimized. The drones can fly themselves guided with GPS systems and with a much faster response time to obstacles that a pilot. Once the drone arrives, dispatchers would walk the person through the steps of using the defibrillator. Currently,de people at the University of Toronto are perfecting their design and the Renfrew County paramedic service are planning to integrate them into their system.


In order for these drones to be put to use, there must be more regulations to be put in place by Transport Canada for paramedics to be allowed to use them. Transport Canada says that they support the innovation of drone technology. The Transport Minister, Marc Garneau, has already restricted specific airspace for the research, development,deliver and testing of drones. Despite all this support, Transport Canada still has to evaluate each and every request on a case by case basis.


This new innovation in technology is going to be a very large step for survivability of people with cardiac arrest and heart attacks. These drones will speed up the process of delivering a lifesaving defibrillator shock and will increase the survival rate for cardiac arrests. In conclusion, if this drone were to be brought and used in cities worldwide, it would be mean a large improvement for everyone and also a large step forward for technology.


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