Cellular-connected Drones to Deliver Life-saving Emergency Defibrillators

Cellular-connected drones will soon be delivering life saving emergency defibrillators (AED’s) to people suffering cardiac arrest.  When medical emergencies occur in traffic clogged cities and remote rural locations, first responders often face challenges in getting to the scene in time.

Trials in Renfrew Ontario on Sept. 21-22, 2019 saw drones arriving at least seven minutes before the paramedic vehicles during each test run. The drone flew over cellular to remote take-off points selected by GPS and landed successfully to deliver an AED to the onsite researchers. They then utilized the device to deliver required shocks to a medical mannequin. Translated to an actual cardiac arrest, the extra time provided by the drones would be crucial.

To improve the mission-critical communications associated with these deliveries, the drones share images and video with operators and employ artificial intelligence to manage key functions, such as collision avoidance, all enabled by the speed, bandwidth and reliability of the LTE cellular network. The County of Renfrew Paramedic Service will use the trial results to plan deployment strategies that reduce time to treatment for people suffering cardiac arrest, and for those who need urgent medications, in private, residential or rural locations.

Getting emergency treatment rapidly is the difference between life and death. This exciting new technology is destined to save many lives!

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