Hattiesburg, Miss.-based William Carey University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine says it has made advancements to its Healthcare Integrated Rescue Operations (HiRO) medical drone in order to make additional emergency care more readily available.
First announced last fall, the HiRO (pronounced “hero”) project uses a modified DJI S1000+ drone, which is capable of carrying a 20-pound telemedical kit and delivering it to someone in need of medical attention.
Dr. Italo Subbarao, associate dean of pre-clinical sciences at the College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Guy Paul Cooper Jr., a fourth-year Carey medical student, have built multiple medical kits to be tested in conjunction with the HiRO drone.
As expected, the heavier the kit, the more limited the battery power becomes, explains Subbarao. Thus, the team is continuing to conduct field tests and determine what types of medical kits can be attached to the drone.
“From the inception of this project, responders have questioned how the HiRO drone can operate within the emergency response system,” says Subbarao. “Our new footage shows how the HiRO drone can integrate into the local 911 system and how a local physician on call can respond to various emergency medical situations. It is all the components of the emergency response system working together. The footage also demonstrates advancements in our medical kit and capability.”
In the new video, a call is placed to 911, and a drone is dispatched to deliver a medical kit, which is equipped with a camera that allows the on-call physician to see the patient and provide instruction on how to use the medical equipment and medicine in the kit.
The new HiRO demonstration video can be found here.