Health Care In America
Featured Series: Health Care In America
Millions of people enrolled in President Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act. But the future of that health care legislation under President Donald Trump and a Republican-led Congress...

These Drones Could Make A Big Difference In Medical Emergencies

Researchers ran a few simulations and found defibrillator-carrying drones responded quicker than ambulances in heart-attack situations.
These Drones Could Make A Big Difference In Medical Emergencies

Drones could be the difference between life and death for people suffering a heart attack.

A team in Sweden compared how long it would take a drone carrying a defibrillator to get to an emergency versus traditional services, like an ambulance.

Eighteen times in a row during the simulation, drones arrived before the hypothetical emergency services. And for someone suffering a heart attack, every one of those seconds counts.

To determine response times, researchers chose locations where someone had suffered a heart attack. They compared the drone response time to the historical medical response time for that specific location.

Of course, the experiment still has some holes. First, researchers used historical data that might not reflect current traffic patterns or arrival times.

And the simulations were done in good weather and over a short time and distance, so more extensive testing is needed before medical drones would go live.