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Drone-delivered defibrillators may save rural heart attack victims

Defikopter drones designed to deliver defibrillators to rural heart attack victims could save lives in Germany.
Posted By KRISTEN BUTLER, UPI.com   |   Sept. 17, 2013 at 10:16 AM   |   Comments

Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Even as drones get a bad wrap in the world of military and law enforcement, a nonprofit in Germany wants to use the unmanned aerial vehicles to save lives.

Definetz has partnered with drone-maker Height-Tech to develop the Defikopter, a drone designed to deliver defibrillators to rural heart attack victims.

Emergencies in remote areas can be deadly when time is of the essence and ambulances are far away.

In these cases, a caller would be able to send for a Defikopter by phone. Definetz would then send the drone out to their location, where the portable defibrillator could buy additional time for a heart attack victim until emergency personnel arrive.

"Defikopter is one small supporting step towards an optimized responder structure," says Definetz's Friedrich Nölle. "It's for sports areas like golf clubs, difficult terrain such as coasts or mountains, and rural areas with weak infrastructure."

The Defikopter was recently demonstrated at a golf club in the Teutoburg Forest, in west Germany. Definetz says they hope to have the system up in the air in six months.

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