There is a scientific consensus that the delivery of prompt emergency medical services (EMSs) guarantees a higher survival rate. An EMS is generally able to respond to 90% of higher priority calls in less than 9 minutes, with the best chance of survival being with a response time of 4–5 minutes. The major obstacle here is that a shorter response time would require the needed resources not to pass a certain threshold in a cost/benefit analysis. This paper aims to investigate the use of drones in as an EMS to improve response times. Although the literature already provides many examples of drones used for this purpose, they have all been developed as a prototype. This confirms the technical feasibility of a drone-based solution, but there is no evidence of the economic viability for such a service. The answer to this comes by analyzing the performance of an integrated-with-drones service as a whole. For this reason, we have redesigned the entire EMS model by including drones, and we have addressed the main issues, such as which types of service can be provided from drones, in which case, what the technical requirements for drones would be, and so on. Furthermore, we developed a specific procedure to keep the number of drones at a minimum level under the constraint of the minimum intervention time. The proposed model has been applied to a real EMS case for a city in the south of Italy. The outcome was that 96 drones were able to cover an area of 2,800 km2, providing an intervention time of 4.5 minutes on average at an annual cost of less than €300,000. These results highlight that an integrated-with-drones service drastically improves the response time when compared with the traditional service, doing so at a viable cost.

Development of a Drone-Supported Emergency Medical Service

Nenni M. E.
;
2020

Abstract

There is a scientific consensus that the delivery of prompt emergency medical services (EMSs) guarantees a higher survival rate. An EMS is generally able to respond to 90% of higher priority calls in less than 9 minutes, with the best chance of survival being with a response time of 4–5 minutes. The major obstacle here is that a shorter response time would require the needed resources not to pass a certain threshold in a cost/benefit analysis. This paper aims to investigate the use of drones in as an EMS to improve response times. Although the literature already provides many examples of drones used for this purpose, they have all been developed as a prototype. This confirms the technical feasibility of a drone-based solution, but there is no evidence of the economic viability for such a service. The answer to this comes by analyzing the performance of an integrated-with-drones service as a whole. For this reason, we have redesigned the entire EMS model by including drones, and we have addressed the main issues, such as which types of service can be provided from drones, in which case, what the technical requirements for drones would be, and so on. Furthermore, we developed a specific procedure to keep the number of drones at a minimum level under the constraint of the minimum intervention time. The proposed model has been applied to a real EMS case for a city in the south of Italy. The outcome was that 96 drones were able to cover an area of 2,800 km2, providing an intervention time of 4.5 minutes on average at an annual cost of less than €300,000. These results highlight that an integrated-with-drones service drastically improves the response time when compared with the traditional service, doing so at a viable cost.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/829338
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