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Drones to deliver defibrillators to 911 callers to treat cardiac arrest

A start-up called Flirtey partnered with REMSA Health to dispatch drones with portable defibrillators when 911 callers report cardiac arrest symptoms

By EMS1 Staff

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A start-up company is partnering with an emergency health services provider to deliver portable defibrillators to cardiac arrest victims via drones.

CNBC reported that Flirtey, a company that has delivered orders by drone for Domino’s and 7-Eleven, teamed up with REMSA Health to develop a plan to dispatch drones equipped with portable defibrillators whenever symptoms of cardiac arrest are reported to 911 dispatchers.

REMSA’s chief of health care operations J.W. Hodge said the goal is to help patients quicker than an ambulance.

"Many communities have done a good job of deploying defibrillators, so you will have them on airplanes, in some office buildings and schools and so on,” Hodge said. “Yet they're not always within reach. At the same time, every minute someone suffers cardiac arrest without some intervention like CPR or an electrical shock, their chance of survival dips 10 percent."

Flirtey CEO Matthew Sweeny said the portable defibrillators can be used by anyone and weigh about 5 pounds. The drone will lower them down on a line so a bystander can unbox it and follow instructions on how to use it.

Sweeny said the program will start in Nevada because they are an FAA-approved drone test site.


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