Defibrillator concept would deliver medical assistance by drone

From The Verge (with suitable skepticism)

German non-profit group Definetz wants to make defibrillators readily available across its country so that any time someone has a heart attack, the life saving devices are within arms reach. And it's looking to drones to help it bring its vision to fruition. On Friday, the group announced the Defikopter, a concept device it designed with drone-maker Height Tech to fly defibrillators to emergency responders or the public by way of a GPS-enabled smartphone app.

Definetz says the Defikopter, which was developed over the last three months, can travel within a radius of 10 kilometers (about six miles), and fly at a speed of 70 kilometers per hour (about 43 miles per hour). While Definetz and Height Tech have announced their collaborative design, neither organization said if or when the Defikopter would be made available for sale, or when and if the corresponding smartphone app would be released to the public.

There are, of course, a few drawbacks to the drone concept. If built, the drone hardware would sell for about $26,000, according to the Mittelbayerische news site. Additionally, if the Defikopter and its app are made available, the Defikopter can only be hailed by someone who is with a heart attack victim and already has the app downloaded downloaded on their phone. The drone also can't run without supervision — the Die Glocke newspaper reports that German law requires that unmanned flying vehicles can only be flown if monitored by a human being. These limitations and restrictions could mean the Defikopter concept never makes it off the ground.

Views: 2127

Comment by Jack Crossfire on August 24, 2013 at 5:01pm

Make sure you have a heart attack with a clear view of the sky, no multipath interference, your wifi is off & allow 45 seconds for the GPS to lock on.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on August 24, 2013 at 5:11pm

Exactly ;-)

Comment by Crashpilot1000 on August 24, 2013 at 6:49pm

Save the drone money and spend it on training people on cpr (even at school). So the nearby people know instantly what to do and keep up oxygenation and circulation till advanced life support is available.

Comment by HeliStorm on August 24, 2013 at 7:52pm
AED units are becoming relatively cheap. I think it might be cheaper to just blanket Germany with the units at least at major public venues. I like people thinking outside the box, but as I previously commented on another blog, just because drones are new and cool, doesn't make them the best solution for problems.
Comment by HeliStorm on August 24, 2013 at 7:54pm
Automated external defibrillator, in case AED was an unknown acronym to some.
Comment by eduardo on August 24, 2013 at 10:18pm

OOO my good .... another joke !

Comment by David Anders on August 24, 2013 at 11:38pm

Apparently playing golf in Germany will kill you.  o.O 

How many people are having heart attacks whilst golfing?!?

Comment by Shaun Mileson on August 24, 2013 at 11:54pm

"How many people are having heart attacks whilst golfing?!?"

My brother in law's uncle died of a heart attack on the golf course...

Comment by Shaun Mileson on August 25, 2013 at 12:01am

I agree with Crashpilot, rather do basic CPR courses, my brother and sister in law are paramedics and the number of times they arrive on scene with the bystanders doing exactly that - standing by and every one on their phones trying to phone for an ambulance. My wife has had to do CPR on 3 people who have had an MI (short for heart attack) in a shopping mall where a "drone" would be useless.

Good concept - not entirely practical as to operate an AED still needs basic training....

Comment by David Anders on August 25, 2013 at 12:44am

Sorry to hear that Shaun.  Given the number of members here it shouldn't surprising that a few of us have been touched by a death on the golf course - however, my comment was more in relation to the previous comments re clear sky, open area, no many people around etc, that saw there would be a need for an AED to be deployed via drone.

Interesting concept, but yes, agree that more people should be doing advanced first aid courses - which would also include how to use an AED when they're available.


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