Drones may deliver life-saving interventions faster than ambulances in the case of emergencies like drug-overdose, or a mass casualty scene, according to a study. The researchers, including those from the American Academy of Pediatrics in the US, found that drones arrived faster than ambulances when transportation times were compared during peak rush hour in Brooklyn, New York in the US.
They compared the data for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) flight data within a zip code in urban Brooklyn and found that the drone response times were quicker than the standard EMS ambulance response, especially during peak rush hours.
According to the researchers, if the UAVs were equipped with two-way communication and possible life-saving interventions, they could save lives by responding to emergency conditions like acute anaphylaxis, opiate overdose, asthma, cardiac arrest, and sarin poisoning.
"Drones, when used appropriately, represent the ideal marriage between enhanced prehospital care and telemedicine for our future," said co-author of the study Mark Hanna from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Hanna said that while advances by the Federal Aviation Administration in the US have resulted in better and efficient drone technology, medical intervention by unmanned aircrafts especially in times of critical need is largely not studied within the US. The researchers said that the abstract of their study would be presented at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans in the US between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM on October 25.