Google Has Patented a Drone Rescue Service
Could calling 911 soon become a thing of the past?
Project Wing, part of Google’s X team that works on the intersection of tech and mobility, is set to revolutionize yet another aspect of life with their autonomous vehicles: medical emergencies. According to the new patent, instead of calling 991, users will soon push a button corresponding to the type of help they are in need for, for example, insulin, inhaler or first-aid kit and a self-flying drone will deliver those items to them within a couple of minutes.
The system could prove especially useful for patients experiencing cardiac arrest or anaphylactic shock caused by an allergic reaction, since the drones do not need to abide traffic rules, significantly decreasing the wait time. The UAV could even deliver a defibrillator or an adrenaline shot to the scene.
The drone rescue system is obviously not a replacement for traditional, human-first responders, as even the most technologically-advanced drones do not come with the knowledge and experience necessary to properly take care of a patient, but the new solution could be a great tool for immediate response administered while waiting for the EMS team to arrive. Or in less severe cases where a simple first aid kit would suffice.
Just like Project Wing’s delivery drones, their rescue counterparts will most likely fly programmed routes, activated with a push of a button and be able to navigate around each other. However, given the administrative conundrum around the question of how to regulate the layer of airspace under 500 feet where the drones usually operate, it may still be some time before we see the first rescue feet in the sky.