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This ambulance drone may change how Singapore’s emergency response works in the future

Drones are not only for killing, they can save lives too.

Jonathan Lim | November 2, 2014 @ 02:13 pm

When someone is having a heart attack, dialing 995 and getting paramedics to that person can take anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes depending on traffic conditions. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) strives to keep their standards at 11 minutes.

And depending on the condition of the victim, a defibrillator may have to be used on the spot.

What if 11 minutes is too long?

What if we can cut short that timing to less than five minutes? Alec Momont, a graduate student at T U Delft, is developing an ambulance drone system that can do just that.

He claims that the drone, equipped with equipment such as a defibrillator, can fly at speeds of up to 100 km/h and can reach victims in under a minute; and that increases the chances of survival of the victim from 8% to 80%.

Check out his video:

This drone is in no way a replacement for the regular ambulance service as emergency case patients still need to be transferred to the hospital. However, the drone, along with its medical equipment and live-streaming operator, can help plug the gap between the time when an emergency call is made and when the paramedics arrive.

 

No drones yet for Singapore, but our high smartphone penetration rate is waiting to be used for doing good

While the drone technology still needs to be tested, perhaps the SCDF can start to implement live-streaming assistance to 995-callers.

Most Singaporeans own a smartphone capable of video calls and a video-call can certainly provide more information to the 995 operator than a voice-call.

Imagine having someone live-coach you on how to perform CPR or how the 995 operator can tell you whether you are executing the Heimlich manuveur properly on your younger brother who’s choking on a fishball.

What say you SCDF?

 

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About Jonathan Lim

Jon is thankful that Singapore is interesting enough to keep a website like Mothership.sg up and running.

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