More than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen in the US outside of hospitals every year, according to the American Heart Association — and a person has about a 10 percent chance of surviving

​From Deloitte June 27, 2017
Researchers in Sweden are testing the feasibility of having drones carry automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to patients in cardiac arrest to reduce the time it takes to get the person to an AED. When a person goes into cardiac arrest, he or she needs the first potentially lifesaving shock from an AED as soon as possible: no longer than three minutes is ideal.

During more than 18 test flights in 2016, drones equipped with a global positioning system (GPS), a high-definition camera, and autopilot software delivered AEDs to a rural area where someone had gone into cardiac arrest. The median time from dispatch to drone launch was three seconds (compared to three minutes for the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) to get on the road), and it took a total of five minutes from dispatch for the AED-equipped drone to meet the patient. When compared to historical data of EMS trips, the drone arrived more quickly in all cases, with a median reduction in response time of 16 minutes and 39 seconds. The study shows great potential for use of drones to transport AEDs, though further testing is needed and improvements in technology could further reduce time.

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Also published on Medium.