We know drones as children’s toys, from videos and maybe from the military. But drones are much more than that, and Falck is now testing how drones can be a help in health and treatment.
“Drones are a part of the future of healthcare. The straight airway between patients and hospitals will save time and money, which will benefit both patients and public health budgets,” says Nicolai Søndergaard Laugesen, who is responsible for Falck’s drone project and contracts with public customers.
He believes that at some point drones will be able to fly with both medical personnel and patients, but for now they will not be transporting humans.
“We must contribute to bringing specialised aid from large hospitals closer to the patient – also in rural areas. With drone transport, blood samples and medication can arrive faster and enable quicker diagnosis and better treatment,” says Nicolai Søndergaard Laugesen.
Falck’s starting point is to develop innovative solutions for the benefit of patients, and therefore the development takes place in close cooperation with public partners in hospitals, universities and political councils.
“As an active healthcare partner, we are deeply concerned with further developing the healthcare system with researchers and hospitals and finding joint solutions that make us more efficient and benefit the patients,” explains Nicolai Søndergaard Laugesen.
“We need to be patient centric. Both when we are driving an ambulance and developing new services for the future.”
Nicolai Søndergaard Laugesen also points out that even vital and critical transport will become more environmentally friendly with emission-free drones in the healthcare system, because most transportation is based on fossil fuels.
Falck is currently part of the HealthDrone project with the University of Southern Denmark, Odense University Hospital and Svendborg Hospital and the private partners Holo, Unifly and Scandinavian Avionics. Falck also participates in drone projects in Sweden.