Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), also known as drones, are the most exciting topic in discussion today. This new technology is believed to revolutionize various industries by enabling faster delivery, reach, and monitoring (GPS). The U.S. military is already using drones as GPS or surveillance system to track its troop’s movements and weapon facilities to launch attacks on terrorist organizations. With increasing research and development activities pertaining to drones, the governments and regulatory authorities in various countries are endeavoring to commercialize this new technology. Currently available drones are classified based on the purpose as camera, toy, and racing drones. Drones can be used in food delivery, product delivery, traffic monitoring, rescue operations, army activities, and delivery of goods within a selected area and many such activities.
Ambulance Drones Market - Multiple Applications in Healthcare
Drones hold the potential to transform the delivery of healthcare services. Drones can be especially useful in emergency situations. Applications include dropping of emergency equipment and medicines, conducting search and rescue operations, responding to natural disasters, collection of blood and tissue samples, and reaching out to remote locations for medical help. Drones are already operating in countries such as the U.S., Haiti, and some parts of Europe. Emerging economies are yet to commercialize the technology. Effective implementation of the technology would spur growth of the ambulance drones market.
Research in the Ambulance Drones Market
Drones can also find application in ambulance services. Ambulance drone design developed by Argodesign, Texas (U.S.) in 2015 provides a speedy emergency support in rural areas and provides quick medical aid during major traffic accident sites that are otherwise inaccessible by road. These drones are equipped with essential instruments for quick treatment at the site of traffic accidents. These drones are about the size of a compact car and do not need a pilot on location to depart. Due to its small size it can land safely on a street. The vehicle can accommodate one patient and is steered via GPS and controlled remotely.
Alec Momont, a student at the Technical University of Delft, developed a prototype of a compact drone that has a small storage space in it. The drone was developed to provide essential supplies to the people on spot and also advanced life support. The first drone contained an automated external defibrillator. This small ambulance drone is not affected by the current road infrastructures and can fly at a speed of 60 miles per hour. It transport a defibrillator to a patient within 12 sq. km. zone within a minute. The drone tracks the emergency mobile calls and uses GPS to navigate to the patient site. However, there are certain things such as steering mechanism and legal issues which needs to be cleared off for a smooth transitioning of the ambulance drones market.
Ambulance Drones Market plagued with regulatory issues
There are many legal and infrastructure issues that need to be tackled before full scale commercialization of ambulance drones. Clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), regulatory authorities, medical authorities, and defining the flight levels are essential to prevent any hindrances during flight operations. Extensive tests need to be conducted to provide complete assurance of the safe and efficient operations of all related processes of ambulance drone. Moreover, risks that need to be considered include the loss or damage to any component while in transit and avoidance of collisions between drones. Regulatory and environmental clearance would pave way for rampant growth of the global ambulance drones market.
The global ambulance drones market is expected to see its first product being commercialized by 2020. A push up to this new technology would enable for a faster and cheaper method of healthcare emergency service delivery during emergency situations.
Research and development of novel UAV-based first aid systems is expected to offer lucrative opportunities for market players. For instance, in July 2019, researchers from Middle Technical University, Iraq, developed an advanced UAV-based first aid system and a wireless body area sensor network for elderly persons in outdoor environments. The UAV transports first aid supplies to the patient when a fall and abnormal heart rate is detected.
Similarly, in August 2019, Ku-Me Invest Kft, a Hungary-based startup company, developed a family of UAVs termed MP-H for military and civilian use. Apart from several civilian applications, the Hungarian National Ambulance Service intends to use the drones to air-drop defibrillators to an emergency scene.
In July 2019, Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) completed phase one of On The Fly Pilot initiative to determine the efficiency of delivering an automated external defibrillator (AED) via drone versus a conventional ambulance. With a 100% success rate, it was concluded that the drone delivery platform produces a reduced response time.