1.0 – Overview Like many places which use automobiles as the main method of transport, Qatar is commonplace to road accidents. The Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics released monthly statistics highlighting that fatal road accidents claimed the lives of 80 people across Qatar over the first half of 2016 . According to Dr. Rafael Consunji, a Trauma Surgery Section Injury Prevention director from Hamad General Hospital (HGH), “71% of these deaths happen on the scene of the accident” . As a result, to reduce the number of fatalities; medical drones are the next step towards improving emergency healthcare accessibility and resolving a serious and ongoing issue in Qatar. Another issue which has caught the attention of international news outlets and safety organizations such as Amnesty International, is the increasing number of accidents and deaths occurring at construction sites . By implementing medical drones, we can ensure that the number of fatal accidents will decrease due to a faster response rate to emergencies. In addition, medical drones can be very useful when being sent to construction sites where the accident happens at elevated locations which would take longer to reach if pursued by other methods. Improving healthcare accessibility using medical drones can help progress the industry and improve its efficiency when dealing with fatal accidents that could save seconds of an individual’s life. Medical drones are revolutionary and this report is just the beginning towards developing smart technologies that can benefit and improve our lives.
2.0 - Significance of Problem The two most popular methods of reacting to a 999 alert, are van-based ambulances and helicopter ambulances, each of which poses their own flaws over time. In the Gulf, van-based ambulances suffer from severe traffic congestion, especially during the day. According to Gulf News, the ignorance of many motorists on the street is becoming a larger problem every day, which in turn has led to the start of many campaigns in Qatar and Dubai . They explain further that the sight of an ambulance stuck on a busy road is a recurring scene, signaling how some lives are put in danger due to mere traffic. On the other hand, Air Ambulance services can only be dispatched to reach otherwise isolated areas or to aid patients that are in extremely urgent cases. Also, the topic of when to dispatch a helicopter ambulance remains a highly debated topic among the various emergency medical service (EMS) providers, as pointed out and studied extensively by the American College of Emergency Physicians . Not only that, but the request for immediate assistance through 999 is not always justified. Too often, many resources are invested in cases that would’ve easily been dealt with were there other forms of service. Karen Auge, a Denver Post reporter, talks about this conflict in detail. According to Auge, many emergency calls aren’t emergencies at all but are medical situations best handled in a doctor’s office . Yet again, we see this trend not only evident in the more Western part of the world, but right in the heart of the Gulf region. The Peninsula, in a recent post, claims that the Qatari EMS receives 5,000 to 6,000 calls per day, 80% of which are non-urgent . Although Qatar has taken steps to resolve such arising issues, such as introducing special ambulances that are meant to take care of patients’ mobility and nonurgent use, the conflict with traffic in this small country still hinders many of those wellintentioned programs. Also, most of those vehicles are used to transport patients that are already being taken care of in one hospital or to offer pre-registered assistance . There is no success to be found of
a service that offers simultaneous and immediate medical assistance to patients throughout the country. The problems of cost, traffic, drivers’ ignorance, and non-urgent assistance requests remain unsolved problems in an increasingly technological world.
3.0 - Proposed Solution One of the visions of Qatar 2030 is for Qatar to significantly improve its healthcare sector. Thus, to enhance the efficiency and functionality of medical services, our company Q-Drones is introducing ‘Specialized Emergency Medical Drones’ to achieve this vision. When developing our drone technology, we do not aim to replace ambulances all together because in some cases, the individual needs to be relocated to a hospital for further aid. Rather, the drones would be used in cases such as: 1. When there is no need for ambulance/medical personnel to be at the scene like nonurgent emergencies 2. When an accident is life-threatening and the drone could be sent out to reach the scene earlier (to offer the needed medication) before an ambulance can arrive. The first few minutes after an accident are critical and it is vital to provide the correct medical attention to thwart further complications. Thus, accelerating the response rate is one of the core goals of our project.
3.1 Procedure The image below shows the operation cycle of an emergency medical drone. It explains the necessary steps when responding to an emergency.
When the emergency department is notified with a serious accident, the appropriate medical drone would be sent out to the specified location within 8-10 minutes travelling at speeds up to 45 mph, 400ft above the ground. The specifications of our drones are designed to be similar to match those which are currently competitive in the market such as the Allied Drones HL48 "Chaos" and the DJI Matrice 600 Pro.
3.2 - Specialized Drones To enhance the functionality of the medical drones, different medical drones can be manufactured to serve specific cases. For example, an individual suffering from cardiac arrest can be sent a drone containing a CPR kit. The advantage towards having specialized drones is reducing the load of the drone so that it could travel at a faster velocity. Each of the medical drones could carry up to 12 Kg of aid which can include lifesaving technologies, such as:
Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
Emergency Allergy Shots
General First-Aid Kits
3.3 - Key Features of the Medical Drones: i) Auto-Pilot The medical drones are autonomous, which means that they can operate freely without the need for human interaction. This gives way for multiple drones to be flown at once without worrying about having an active team flying all the drones which reduces costs on human resources and training. Autonomous drones are also free from human error which can significantly reduce the chances of accidents. However, when needed, an operator can choose to control the drone when problems arise such as a fault with the navigation system.
ii) GPS Flight Assistance The advanced navigation software allows the drone to take the most optimal route towards the desired location in order to reduce the flight time. The system also instructs the drone where to fly (avoiding passing over private property), at what height and what speed.
iii) Coming Home The feature allows the drone to automatically fly back directly to the medical center through radio control after it has delivered the necessary aid.
iv) Camera A camera would be attached to the drone to facilitate multiple tasks. The main task of the camera is to provide instructions to the people at the accident scene. Along with a built-in speaker, an operator could instruct the individual the steps regarding how to use any of the equipment. The secondary task of the camera is to monitor traffic when flying to the accident’s location so that if an ambulance is needed, it could indicate which roads are best to avoid due to traffic.
v) Motion Detector The motion detector analyzes the drone’s surroundings around a five-meter radius to avoid
any mid-air collisions that would disrupt the flight or damage any of the components.
vi) Electric Powered This is a resourceful method of powering the drone without causing much harm to the environment. The batteries are rechargeable (have a 50-minute battery life) and contain fiber-optic like wires to ensure efficient energy transfer and immediate responses to the operator. In addition, there is a secondary battery pack plugged to the drone in case the drone was flying for a longer period. *See section 4.1 under design constraints for more information.
vii) Weather Adaptability The carbon fiber material covering the drone is waterproof so that it could tolerate rainy conditions as well as being able to withstand strong winds and to some extent, lighting strikes.
3.4 - Target Market Since our product is strictly focused on the healthcare sector, our ideal target market will be the various emergency medical centers scattered across Doha, Qatar. Medical drones will be a beneficial addition to the emergency team as they are more effective and have a faster response rate (8-10 seconds response time) when compared with ambulances (10-15 minutes) and medical personnel  Also, it is important to note that not all the listed medical centers can dispatch ambulances. This is because not every medical center has the necessary capital and human resources to facilitate an emergency service. Thus, medical drones are a convenient alternative as they do not require much resources and cost very little (30,000 Riyals) when compared to a vanambulance (250,000+ Riyals). *See section 6.0 which explains more benefits as to why drones are better than their current counterparts. The picture below shows all the medical centers currently available around Qatar.
The Medical Centers Which Offer Emergency Services Our initial aim is to provide 5 drones to the main medical center (Hamad Medical Center) and study how much they are used and how effective they are. Hamad Medical Center was chosen as the likely candidate for our study because it is the main healthcare center in Qatar and it receives the most emergencies per day . Once a full analysis has been conducted for a period of 6 months, a data report can be produced and shared with the rest of the medical centers to potentially convince them to buy the product. The report will focus on the effectiveness of the medical drones. Our criteria for effectiveness are:
The number of successful uses of the medical drones
Success rate ratio of whether the drones created an impact when being sent in conjunction with an ambulance
The speed and time it takes for the drone to arrive at an accident
Patient will be surveyed whether an operator offering instructions through the drone (during non-drastic injuries) is an alternative to medical personnel being present at the scene
In addition, our product will be showcased in the next Healthcare Convention to attract and convince further the medical centers that medical drones are next step towards improving emergency healthcare accessibility while also looking for potential investors and suppliers. The market for this product not only serves for emergency circumstances but the scope can range to medical deliveries (blood supplies) and search and rescue missions whereby the drones can be used to aid firefighters and emergency personnel to rescue people in danger.
4.0 - Design Constraints 4.1 - Battery A team of electrical and chemical engineers developed a highly durable lithium polymer battery that can last up to 50 minutes. However, the voltage and current of the batteries varies according to the range and weight load capacity of the drone. The voltage and the current can go up to 22.2 V and 22,000 mAh .
4.2 - Weather conditions The drones are made of carbon fiber which protects their body from corrosion and different weather conditions such as rain or dust. Also, the course of the drone is not affected by severe weather changes such as dust, rain, or wind as they are controlled by a GPS system that accurately leads them to the right destination.
4.3 - Privacy Although the drones are equipped with cameras, they do not pose any threat on the privacy or safety of citizens as the drone cameras are monitored by the government and can only be used for medical purposes and improving the accuracy of the location of patients.
5.0 - Current Drones in the Market Below are three drones are which acquire the best specifications in the current market. Our aim is to develop technologies that would compete with these drones. Since our drones are non-commercial and will be used for medical purposes, the specifications can be improved further to satisfy our main goal.
5.1- Allied Drones  Maximum Flight Time
Weight Load Capacity
1574.8 x 1574.8 x 457.2 mm
20 Km Body Material
5.2 - DJI Matrice 600 Pro  Maximum Flight Time
Weight Load Capacity
1668 x 1518 x 727 mm
5.3 - Flytrex Sky  Maximum Flight Time
Weight Load Capacity
2 Kg 29 minutes
273 × 223 × 107 mm
6.0 - Benefits of Emergency Medical Drones 6.1 - Efficiency Integrating the drone system into the current medical structure will push Qatar one step closer to fulfilling its 2030 vision where improving healthcare is a main priority. Our goal is to provide a better alternative to the standard healthcare solutions using drones. Having a sleek body design, the drones are less restricted when maneuvering compared to current transportation means because the drone’s aerodynamics along with the quadrotors provide enough thrust power to lift the payload without degrading the speed factor. This aspect comes in handy when dealing with situations in which the patient is stuck in traffic or trapped inside a building. The medical drone will be able to land and move on ground thanks to the special wheels that will be attached to its base to prevent unnecessary damage to the body and expand the range of motion to include on and off ground movement. In other words, drones will not only save time, but also may save more lives than common methods used.
6.2 – Convenience To make Doha a smart city, easy operating mechanisms along with automated functionality are required to achieve that goal. Drone stations are easy to operate and will immediately function accordingly. This is very crucial because even though Doha has a relatively quick medical transportation system, statistics from police departments show that it takes an
ambulance 15 minutes to reach its destination through the fastest route possible . As Qatar’s population increases, the resulted traffic will cause more challenges that will make the traditional medical system inefficient. One of the drone’s main functions is autonomous piloting in which the drone will make use of its built-in GPS system and navigation system to arrive to its destination. A main control center will also track and provide the drone’s coordinates with respect to other drones. Thus, the likelihood of errors is very low when compared to human errors. When necessary, the drones will offer a manual control option in which professional operators will take control if the situation requires so. For the convenience of the medical staff, the medical drone system is operated by simple commands which will only direct the drone to the required medical equipment and to the patient’s location. Our simple user interface will reduce certain complications the hospital staff face might face. Also, the drones will make use of its built-in camera and speakers to communicate verbal commands to the patients making the process more responsive. In case a doctor needs to ask questions or give out specific procedures, the camera can start a live feed of the patient. Furthermore, the complexity of the drone allows it to perform multiple tasks at a time without disrupting its responsiveness. In the context of this project, drones can act as surveillance drones that can recognize accidents and traffic flow to provide such crucial information to the operations center to act accordingly, making drones helpful in many scenarios.
6.3 - Accessibility Synchronizing Hamad’s Medical Hospital (HMC) services with what drones are capable of will result in smoother operation and faster feedback to reach the patient. Drone stations will be available in multiple locations to ensure a better, more accessible service. The stations will be equipped with the essential medical tools in a form of medical crates that are pre-assembled to aid common incidents. The drones will have an integrated bar code system to identify and pick up the prescribed crate to be delivered. Drone stations
will also have landing pads that will automatically start charging the drone once it lands on it. Different drones will have different landing pads that will categorize the drones with respect to the specific usage of that drone. This is because drones that fly longer distances have a stronger battery pack which needs different power supplies. The drone station will be built to allow takeoff from a higher altitude. The reason being is that the earth’s lowest atmosphere layer, known as the troposphere, is home to most of the atmospheric changes which will result in a poor performance and an increase in software/hardware errors. For instance, taking off from a higher altitude in case of a foggy weather will ensure better vision from the drone’s built-in cameras. Furthermore, drone stations will be located in accident-heavy areas which will provide medical services in an agile manner leaving no patients left behind around the clock. On the long run, drone stations, will enhance the medical aid system as not all hospitals can dispatch ambulances. A network system of drone stations will cover most of the areas within and Doha, making accessible to most of the population. In addition, with drone stations being built next to hospitals, we will be able to cover most of the common injuries as any required medication can be escorted by hospital personnel to the drone station. Thus, many lives will be saved whether the scenario is an injury or a required dose of medication making the system a bit more flexible and adaptive.
7.0 - Conclusion Health and hospitalization are becoming increasingly vital concerns, especially in Qatar. Due to various existing problems in the hospitalization methods that are present locally, the EMS’s1 need for new technological aids is growing larger every day. Drones have proven to offer fast and reliable transportation methodology for mild medical needs or urgent calls where contemporary methods are deemed inefficient. A network of many unique autonomous medical drones will bring Qatar a step closer towards its vision. This network will not only save Qatar many unnecessary costs, but also help save a life when one second can be the deciding factor.
Emergency Medical Services
8.0 – References [1:3] Qatar Scoop Staff. “80 People Killed Fatal Road Accidents in Qatar.” [Aug 16, 2016] Internet:http://www.qatarscoop.com/news/80-people-killed-fatal-road-accidents-in-qatar473-accidents-in-madinat-khalifa-303-road-crashes-in-al-maamoura/ [Accessed: Feb 12, 2017] [2:3] CW Staff. “Construction accidents on the rise in Qatar.” [Feb 11, 2013] Internet:http://www.constructionweekonline.com/article-20865-construction-accidents-onthe-rise-in-qatar/#.UYea_LVTDms [Accessed: Feb 12, 2017] [3:3] Amnesty International. “Qatar: Migrant workers still at risk of abuse despite reforms.” [Dec 12 2016] Internet:https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/middle-east-and-north-africa/qatar/reportqatar/ [Accessed: Feb 12, 2017] [4:4] J. A. Tamimi, "Ambulance service: Every second counts in saving a life.”  Available: http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/emergencies/ambulance-service-every-secondcounts-in-saving-a-life-1.765059. [Accessed: Feb 12, 2017] [5:4] American College of Emergency Physicians and National Association of EMS Physicians, “Guidelines for Air Medical Dispatch.”  Available: https://www.acep.org/uploadedFiles/ACEP/Practice_Resources/issues_by_category/Emergenc y_Medical_Services/GuidelinesForAirMedDisp.pdf. [Accessed: Feb. 28, 2017] [6:4] K. Augé, "911 non-emergencies a growing problem nationwide.". Available: http://www.denverpost.com/2009/12/28/911-non-emergencies-a-growing-problemnationwide/ [Accessed: Feb 12, 2017] [7:4] F. Saleem, "HMC introduces special ambulances," The Peninsula Qatar, 2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/article/15/11/2016/HMC-introduces-specialambulances. [Accessed: Feb. 28, 2017] [8:4] Doha News. “Only 10% of 999 Calls in Qatar for Real Emergencies” [Oct 19 2014] https://dohanews.co/moi-official-10-pc-999-calls-real-emergencies/ [Accessed: Feb 12, 2017] [9:9] Hamad Medical Cooperation. “Emergency Department.” [n.d.] Website: https://www.hamad.qa/EN/Patient-Information/Emergency-Departments/Pages/default.aspx [Accessed: Feb 12, 2017] [10:10] “Compare Drones,” Compare Drones - Search, Find, and Compare Drone Specs. [Online]. Internet: http://drones.specout.com/. [Accessed: 28-Feb-2017]. [11:11] Graphiq. “Allied Drones HL48 "Chaos" [n.d.] Internet: http://drones.specout.com/l/140/Allied-Drones-HL48-Chaos. [Accessed: 12-Feb-2017]
[12:11] Graphiq. “DJI Matrice 600 Pro (M600 Pro).” [n.d.] Internet: http://drones.specout.com/l/1125/DJI-Matrice-600-Pro-M600-Pro. [Accessed: Feb 12, 2017] [13:12] Graphiq. “Flytrex Sky.” [n.d.] Internet: http://drones.specout.com/l/327/Flytrex-Sky. [Accessed: Feb 12, 2017]