Canadian drone company completes 3rd phase of ‘AED On The Fly’ project
Drone Delivery Canada Corp. worked with Peel Region Paramedic Services to test the ability of a drone to deliver AEDs to lay responders
By Laura French
CANADA — A Canadian drone company has completed the third phase of its project to develop a drone that can deliver AEDs to bystanders during a cardiac arrest.
The third phase of Drone Delivery Canada Corp.'s “AED On The Fly” project tested the cargo drop capability and audio announcement system of a “Sparrow” drone in dropping an AED to a lay responder in a rural environment, according to a press release. The response times for dropping, retrieving and applying the AED to a simulated cardiac arrest patient were measured during the tests, and the physiological and psychological effects of a stressful situation were also factored in.
Drone Delivery Canada Corp. (DDC) worked with Peel Region Paramedic Services and the Sunnybrook Centre for Prehospital Medicine to complete the tests. The Sparrow drone was launched from a Peel Paramedic station, starting with a simulated 911 call location sent to the DDC’s operations control center. DCC monitored the drone remotely in real-time using its FLYTE software system and found that it had a shorter travel time compared to a land-based vehicle. The company also successfully tested AED delivery in nighttime conditions.
“This partnership between DDC, Peel Regional Paramedic Services and Sunnybrook Centre for Prehospital Medicine is groundbreaking. This innovative program utilizes DDC’s proprietary drone logistics platform to deliver rapid first responder technology via DDC’s Sparrow drone with the goal to reduce response time and potentially save lives,” said DDC President and CEO Michael Zahra, in a statement. “The new aspects tested in Phase Three further demonstrate the viability of our solution.”
Phase One and Two of the project, completed on June 26, 2019 and July 6, 2020 respectively, were also “100% successful,” according to DDC.
“Phrase Three allowed us to continue our progress towards implementing drone technology to improve outcomes from rural and remote cardiac arrest. Working with lay responders, we continued our simulated cardiac arrest scenarios and optimized the ease of use of an AED delivered by drone through ‘real time feedback’ to lay responders as well as performing night flights to ensure 24/7 capability of this unique AED solution,” stated Dr. Sheldon Cheskes, an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Department of Family and Community Medicine and the principal investigator on the research project. “Finally, and most importantly, the launch and monitoring of the drone occurred from the Operations Control Centre at DDEC headquarters in Vaughan, Ontario, reconfirming the abilities of DDC’s remote monitoring with FLYTE. All these factors strengthen the likelihood that not only may drones decrease time to first AED shock in rural and remote communities but the fear of AED use can be minimized by ‘real time’ interaction between a first responder and trained personnel.”