Inside Logistics

Defibrillator by drone testing in Ontario

Find out which is faster - an ambulance or a drone carrying a defibrillator


June 26, 2019
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In the pilot, a drone raced an ambulance to deliver a defibrillator.

TORONTO – Drone Delivery Canada has successfully completed phase one of its AED (automated external defibrillator) On The Fly Pilot with Peel Region Paramedics.

The tests confirmed that delivery first responder technology by drone reduces response time.

The pilot was to determine the effectiveness of delivery of an AED via drone versus a traditional ambulance. Phase one of the test consisted of simulating 911 emergency calls in the Township of Caledon, in the Region of Peel, Ontario, dispatching DDC’s Sparrow drone equipped with specialized first responder payload that included an automated external defibrillator.

The delivery time of the drone was then compared against the traditional dispatch of first responder paramedics. Several staged 911 calls were then executed and, in all cases, DDC’s Sparrow drone arrived on-site ahead of the traditional first responder vehicles.

“This partnership between DDC and Peel Regional Paramedic Services is groundbreaking,” said Michael Zahra, CEO of Drone Delivery Canada.

“We look forward to the next phase to bring this vertical closer to commercialization.”

“Phase 1 of our research was an impressive success,” said Dr. Sheldon Cheskes, medical director at Sunnybrook Centre for Prehospital Medicine and the principal investigator of the AED on the Fly Pilot Research program.

“We were able to demonstrate that drone technology to deliver AEDs for cardiac arrest is not only feasible but has the potential to reduce response times and improve outcomes from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. We will continue to work with DDC to ensure a simple and smooth transition from drone landing to bystander retrieval and use of an AED moving forward.”

DDC has released a video documenting the first phase trials.