Flirtey launches the first drone-based defibrillator in the US

Coming a couple years after we saw concepts detailing such a device is the US's first defibrillator delivered via drone. The drones will be fitted with easy-to-use equipment that gives anyone near a reported cardiac patient the chance to save their life, though it obviously won't be a substitution for emergency medical technicians.

Drone deliveries are often discussed in terms of getting items to consumers, but they hold just as much promise for getting items to people who need them in situations where a vehicle may not do. Some regions, particularly rural ones, have already experimented with using drones for transporting things like blood to remote hospitals, and we've previously seen concepts involving defibrillator devices.

The idea here is that in a cardiac situation, administering aid immediately is vitally important for survival rates. If someone goes into cardiac arrest, every single passing second decreases their odds of surviving. An ambulance will bring a defibrillator with it, but an ambulance must also travel on ground and get through traffic.

A drone doesn't have those restrictions — it can fly above the traffic, possibly ultimately moving faster than the ambulance to arrive at the scene first. Anyone on scene will be able to use the defibrillator device on the person experiencing the cardiac arrest, potentially buying them time before the ambulance arrives. Flirtey's defibrillator drone device is designed so that anyone — even those with zero medical experience — can use it.

Flirtey is officially the first company to bring a drone-based defibrillator to the United States, doing so in partnership with Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. This is a Reno-based company, and it was explained that the defibrillator drone will be sent out along with an ambulance for any cases where there's a reported cardiac arrest.

SOURCE: Seattle Times