News Item – Could drones one day speed AED delivery to cardiac arrest scenes across the U.S.?

“We were a bit surprised that the improvements appeared greater in the urban areas. There’s an historical inequity in EMS response times in rural versus urban areas, so we anticipated that drones could provide a bigger improvement in response times in rural areas and, thus, reduce that inequity,” said study lead author Jamal Chu, B.A.Sc., a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto. “Our optimization model was designed for the drone network to maximize the number of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests responded to within 5 minutes. This meant that due to the historical response times in both urban and rural areas being mostly longer than 5 minutes, the algorithm largely ignored the historical inequity in response time and prioritized the densely populated and easier to respond to urban areas. For future development of drone delivery systems, we need to consider the demography, geography and historical EMS response times of the intervention region and personalize the algorithm that optimizes the drone locations for that region, or we risk increasing the inequity of emergency response.”

Full article at: American Heart Association Newsroom