Airborne defibrillators showed Nordic ministers the future with 5G

As all the Nordic Prime Ministers gather in Sweden this week, Telia Company is there to give them a view of the future and to explain how Telia can contribute with its solutions. Using a 5G example, Global Head of Networks, Gabriela Styf Sjöman presented the possibilities.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfvén met with his Nordic counterparts in his home municipality of Örnsköldsvik, to discuss foreign and domestic policy and other relevant issues. One of these issues is digitalization.

During the informal part of the meeting, the Nordic ministers learned about and experienced how 5G can help saving lives.

In Sweden, 6 000 people a year are hit with sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital environment. Only ten percent survive. However, if treatment starts within three minutes of the arrest, as many as 70 percent survive. Telia, together with Ericsson and Karolinska Institutet wanted to show the ministers how drones and 5G technology can be used to deliver defibrillators to a heart failure emergency – sometimes four times faster than an ambulance.

According to Karolinska Institutet, a large-scale system that allows them to send out drones with defibrillators could save many lives. There has already been successful simulated trials, but there has been a difficulty to manage airspace security issues when using several drones at once. The solution being worked on now will solve that.

The answer to the problem is 5G. When thousands of drones are in the air at the same time, a solution sufficient enough to control them all is critical. In her presentation, Styf Sjöman explained that the 5G network enables a control system to keep track of all the drones by registering them and supplying information about them to air traffic authorities

"5G technology creates many new possibilities, and the delivery of defibrillators with drones is just one example. This type of solution, which saves lives, shows that we’re using technology in the best possible way," Styf Sjöman says.

To reach the full potential of this solution, some regulatory issues also need to be addressed.

"These issues are mainly related to the handling of certification and registration of drones by national and international aviation authorities. There is ongoing work within the EU here, but we believe the Nordic countries could take the lead. We can show the European market a clear way forward," Styf Sjöman says.

Video of Telia defibrillator drones: