Development of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) networks delivering early defibrillation for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) in areas lacking timely access to emergency medical services (EMS) in Germany : a comparative economic study

  • Objectives This study wants to assess the cost-effectiveness of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) equipped with automated external defibrillators (AED) in out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA). Especially in rural areas with longer response times of emergency medical services (EMS) early lay defibrillation could lead to a significant higher survival in OHCA. Participants 3296 emergency medical stations in Germany. Setting Rural areas in Germany. Primary and secondary outcome measures Three UAV networks providing 80%, 90% or 100% coverage for rural areas lacking timely access to EMS (ie, time-to-defibrillation: >10 min) were developed using a location allocation analysis. For each UAV network, primary outcome was the cost-effectiveness using the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) calculated by the ratio of financial costs to additional life years gained compared with current EMS. Results Current EMS with 3926 emergency stations was able to gain 1224 life years on annual average in the study area. The UAV network providing 100% coverage consisted of 1933 UAV with average annual costs of €43.5 million and 1845 additional life years gained on annual average (ICER: €23 568). The UAV network providing 90% coverage consisted of 1074 UAV with average annual costs of €24.2 million and 1661 additional life years gained on annual average (ICER: €14 548). The UAV network providing 80% coverage consisted of 798 UAV with average annual costs of €18.0 million and 1477 additional life years gained on annual average (ICER: €12 158). Conclusion These results reveal the relevant life-saving potential of all modelled UAV networks. Furthermore, all analysed UAV networks could be deemed cost-effective. However, real-life applications are needed to validate the findings.
Author:Jan BauerORCiDGND, Dieter Moormann, Reinhard Strametz, Jan David Alexander GronebergORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):BMJ open
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/01/22
Date of first Publication:2021/01/22
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/04/29
Issue:1, art. e043791
Page Number:7
First Page:1
Last Page:7
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Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell 4.0