A drone could save your life – Medical emergency drones’ European roadshow

When we hear about drones, often the focus is on the negatives, such as worries about privacy and noise. It is rare that we stop to think about the substantial benefits they will bring in the future: in the best-case scenario, they will be saving human lives.

From 7 March to 12 April, a European drone roadshow is set to present medical emergency drones designed to transport medical equipment and passengers as part of the EU-funded AiRMOUR project.

“Transport system pain points become clear in rescue operations. They are particularly well highlighted when it comes to difficult-to-reach places and emergency situations, where every second counts,” explains Forum Virium Helsinki Project Manager Renske Martijnse-Hartikka.

EMERGENCY FIRST AID VIA DRONES

Picture this: you are out hiking in the middle of a forest, on an island or atop a hill. From out of nowhere, a snake bites you or something in your snack bar causes a life-threatening allergic reaction, but the ambulance or helicopter cannot get to you quickly. Sometimes help does not arrive until it is too late.

Now let’s imagine the same situation, but in a few years’ time. This time, help arrives promptly. So, what has changed? Emergency medical services now use drones, which are able to fly cortisone, an EpiPen, or a first aid kit to challenging locations. Larger drones can even fly doctors to the scene to help. Innovations don’t get much more revolutionary!

LIFESAVING DRONES IN EUROPE – COME AND SEE

The roadshow events will showcase the drones’ features and how they operate, allowing attendees to either see them in flight or attend presentations on the drones’ benefits and challenges. The public and the media can come and see the drones up close and, if they wish, participate in public surveys.

Roadshow schedule:

  • KASSEL (GERMANY): 7 March 10am–4pm drone flight open to all.
  • KASSEL: 8 March workshops for medical and city stakeholders.
  • LUXEMBOURG: 10 March 10am–6pm drone validation flight open to all at Place de l’Europe.
  • LUXEMBOURG: 13 March 10am–5pm at Eurocontrol Learning Centre for medical and governmental stakeholders.
  • HELSINKI (FINLAND): 4 April 10am–5pm drone flight to Suomenlinna island. For media, medical and city stakeholders, as well as the general public.
  • HELSINKI: 6 April 10am–4pm medical emergency drone and passenger drone on display for the media and general public in Kansalaistori square, in front of Helsinki Central Library.
  • STAVANGER (NORWAY): 12 April, save the date, more details to be announced.

For more information and registration instructions: airmour.eu/airmour-roadshow-events-spring-2023.

WHY DRONES AND WHY NOW?

Global population growth has been pushing traditional infrastructure to its limits. In particularly densely populated areas, traffic planning has become increasingly difficult. In the European Union alone, traffic congestion is estimated to cost society EUR 100 billion a year.

The AiRMOUR project is increasing Europe-wide understanding of the kinds of activities that will be required in the near future from cities, decision makers, researchers, the business sector and aviation operators. Additionally, lessons learnt during the project will be condensed into practical tools and training programmes for the sector. Forum Virium Helsinki is responsible for communications for this EU-funded project.

“Our task is to support cities with testing medical emergency drones and increasing public awareness of this new innovation, the responsibility it bears, and potential challenges. Taking first aid up into the airspace requires the overhaul of aviation legislation and urban and transport planning, to name just a couple of hurdles. In order to ensure public acceptance, the drones must be not just safe, but also quiet and reasonably priced,” Martijnse-Hartikka points out.