Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Flirtey and Remsa prepare drone delivery defibrillator service

Steve Rogerson
October 12, 2017

Drone delivery service Flirtey is working with Remsa, a community-integrated emergency medical services provider, to launch an automated external defibrillator (AED) drone delivery service in the USA.
Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of natural death in America, with more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cases each year, according to the American Heart Association. For every minute that a victim of cardiac arrest waits to receive defibrillation, their odds of survival decrease by about ten per cent. By using drones to deliver AEDs, Flirtey's technology should increase the odds of surviving cardiac arrest and ultimately save lives.
Through the partnership, when Remsa's 9-1-1 communications centre receives a cardiac arrest call, in addition to dispatching an ambulance, a Flirtey drone, carrying an AED will soon also be dispatched to the scene of the emergency. Research shows that timely defibrillation drastically increases the odds of survival for cardiac arrest victims. Delivering an AED to the scene of a cardiac arrest within minutes of an emergency call being received should decrease the time that passes between the call being placed and the application of an AED to the victim.
"Our mission is to save lives and change lifestyles by making delivery instant and partnering with Remsa is another huge step towards this goal," said Flirtey CEO Matthew Sweeny. "We have the ability to deliver lifesaving aid into the hands of people who need it – why aren't we as a society doing it already? This is one of the most important uses of drone delivery technology, and we believe that by democratising access to this lifesaving aid, our technology will save more than a million lives over the decades to come."
Emergency response times for ambulances can vary depending on their distance from the victim, traffic and call volume. The delivery drones will be able to fly directly to the victim and deliver critical aid efficiently and with precision, allowing bystanders to begin administering care while they wait for paramedics to arrive.
Together, the companies are developing an emergency response and 9-1-1-integration process to allow for the rapid drone deployment programme, including combining Flirtey's flight planning software into Remsa's patient care and transport programmes.
In addition to its ground ambulance system, Remsa also operates Care Flight, an airplane and helicopter air ambulance service, as well as a critical care ambulance. The partners are working together on FAA approvals and a public education campaign focused on integrating emergency drone AED delivery into the community.
"Remsa is committed to improving the health of the communities we serve through innovative, pre-hospital care," said Remsa CEO Dean Dow. "We're excited to incorporate Flirtey's drone delivery technology as part of our emergency response in northern Nevada. Providing quality, lifesaving care to patients as fast as possible is always our goal."
Start-up Flirtey has worked with Nasa, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, Remote Area Medical, New Zealand Land Search & Rescue, Domino's and 7-Eleven to conduct deliveries of medicine to rural healthcare clinics, ship-to-shore deliveries of medical samples, and deliveries of retail and ecommerce items to consumer homes.
Remsa is a private, locally governed, non-profit emergency medical services provider serving northern Nevada since 1986.