Design Considerations for UAV-Delivered Opioid Overdose Interventions

Conference Paper

With recent regulatory changes that allow for commercial unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)operations, there has been increasing interest in using UAVs, aka drones, for delivery of medical care, especially in rural areas. Previous work has focused on Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)for people in possible cardiac arrest, but there are potentially many other emergency medical interventions that could be made more readily available through drones. One such use includes treatment for opioid overdoses, which could be significant given the current US opioid crisis. While drone delivery of blood has been established in Africa between medical professionals, there are no established applications of drones delivering emergency medical interventions for use by bystanders due to technical issues in the safe operation of drones in the air and in accessing and using the medical devices on the ground by laypersons. This paper examines how such a drone system should be designed in order to promote safe and effective operations for all stakeholders. This complex system design problem should be addressed at both local and global levels. At the local level, new theories and applications of human-technology interaction should be developed considering the need to promote safe and efficient human interaction between bystanders and drones delivering emergency medical interventions. Resulting models will need to consider how affordances can be designed into the technology given the use by untrained bystanders. Given that these emergency drones will need to be remotely supervised, the global aspect of this research should focus on the development of a drone supervision/dispatch capability, which will include interacting with the layperson who initiated the emergency call and determining how to integrate new network optimizations models so that dispatchers can understand when and where to dispatch drones and/or ambulances.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Buckland, DM; Cummings, MM; Mark, DB; Banerjee, AG; Snyder, K; Starks, MA

Published Date

  • March 1, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2019-March /

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1095-323X

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781538668542

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1109/AERO.2019.8741937

Citation Source

  • Scopus