LTE supports BVLOS medical deliveries in Canada

LTE connectivity provided by Ericsson successfully supported beyond-visual-line-of-sight deliveries of emergency medical supplies in tests carried out on Ontario, Canada, on 21-22 September 2019. The tests saw automated external defibrillators (AEDs) consistently being delivered to specific GPS locations across a 16 km radius of Renfrew County more than seven minutes before paramedic vehicles arrived at the scene. Health authorities are comparing the technology with conventional deliveries. In addition to Ericsson, Renfrew County partnered with Canadian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) company InDro Robotics, and tech firm Cradlepoint. InDro Robotics supplied the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV); Cradlepoint provided the on-board router, while Ericsson provided 4G LTE equipment with carrier aggregation, as well as mobile network design support and drone research.

The drone flew via the LTE network to remote take-off points selected by GPS and landed successfully to deliver an AED to onsite researchers, who used it to treat a medical mannequin.

Renfrew County authorities say using the mobile network could see life-saving equipment and supplies being delivered more than 128 km from the control point compared to the 7.25 km range of current non-mobile-network enabled drone delivery services. The 4G LTE-enabled tests included live video streaming, photo-sharing, and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, such as collision avoidance. The trial results will be used to plan services to reduce time to treatment for people suffering cardiac arrest, and, in the future, those who need urgent medication in private, residential, or rural locations.

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