Saturday, 11 January 2014

Could a Drone Save Your Life?

Reports of drones been used to take enemy lives are widely published, but have you ever considered that drones could soon be saving lives - including your own? How so? The answer is through drones that help in search and rescue, and drones that help deliver emergency medical supplies.

 Let's take a brief look at these two life-saving drone applications:


Search and Rescue Drones


In a pioneering trial by the University of Central Lancashire (UK) field tests showed hour-long mountain rescue searches could be reduced to just minutes. In many cases this could be the critical difference between life and death for someone lost or stuck in often minus temperatures.




In another recent example in Vancouver (Canada), testing of search and rescue drones showed massive savings in time to locate missing persons, and also significant cost savings over traditional search and rescue missions. The drones used in this testing were able to send a live video feed back to a command centre and were able to cover an area of around 20 kilometres within just a few minutes!




While no doubt there is still lots more testing needed, the potential for drones to assist in search and rescue missions is obvious. Not only could drones be helpful in mountain rescues, but other emergency situations could also benefit, such as locating missing children, and locating survivors of natural disasters.


Medical Aid Drones


Imagine living in a rural area in the world where roads can become impassable during rainy seasons or heavy snow, or where in some cases no road network exists at all. Drones that could deliver emergency medical supplies direct to those in need would be of immense benefit. In fact it is very likely that the lives of countless people could be saved by the swift delivery of emergency medical supplies.




The Dominican Republic is already financing a pilot project to test out the life-saving potential of medical aid drones. If this project is successful, then expect to see medical aid drones being adopted throughout the world in the next few years.




It is important to remember however, that it is not just remote areas that could benefit from medical aid drones. The problem of congested city roads that delay emergency vehicles could be helped by drones delivering vital medicines and equipment for first-assistance. One example is the delivery of defibrillators for heart attack victims. This piece of equipment would give a first-responder a chance to revive the patient.
Drones that save lives are coming, and although early adoption of this technology may prove slow, once the benefits are clearly demonstrated then wide-scale implementation is inevitable.


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