Paramedic drones could cut NHS waiting times, says Worthing designer

A Worthing student with a passion for science and engineering has come up with a way to cut NHS waiting times for patients.

Emma Phillips created a paramedic drone, which would allow trained staff to speak to and assess patients via video screens while ambulances are en route.

Her idea impressed judges in the online heats of the Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition and she has been selected to compete at the UK finals in March.

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Emma, a year-nine student at Davison CE High School for Girls, used existing knowledge of the growing drone industry, as well as surveys and data collection, to justify her Paramedic Drones proposal.

Emma Phillips' paramedic drone design has won a place in the Big Bang UK final

She said: “It has become evident that patient wait times are only increasing for medical assistance. Patients can be waiting up to 50 hours for assistance. I decided I could suggest a solution to this problem using the technology we have access to today.

“Science and engineering has always been a passion of mine.”

Emma’s aim was to assess the current service provided by both doctors and paramedics, and then look at a solution that could be used in the near-future.

Emma explained what a drone is and how it works before specifying how medical drones could be best used. She explained which pieces of equipment would be best considered for paramedic drones, including different cameras and gimbals, undercarriages and loads.

Hilary Leevers, chief executive of EngineeringUK, said: “Emma really impressed the judges with her project and we’re excited to see how she does at the finals.

“Going into its 11th year in 2019, The Big Bang Fair continues to be a great source of STEM inspiration for young people, representing an amazing opportunity for young visitors, their teachers and parents to get hands-on with a wide range of activities, workshops and shows, and engage in meaningful career conversations with professionals, all designed to bring classroom learning to life and inspire the next generation.”