The development of the disaster drones is a joint project with the unmanned aerial systems program at Hinds Community College. The technology debuted before an audience including representatives from Homeland Security, federal law enforcement agencies, and the United Nations.
The Telemedical Drone project, known as HiRO (Health Integrated Rescue Operations), was developed by Italo Subbarao, DO, senior associate dean at WCUCOM, and Guy Paul Cooper Jr., a fourth-year medical student at WCUCOM.
The concept arose when the two studied the medical response to the devastating EF-4 tornado that struck Hattiesburg in February 2013. In the past two years, they’ve developed multiple prototypes to support rural and wilderness medical emergencies, including the two newest iterations: ambulance drones designed to support victims and rescue personnel during mass shootings, bombings, or other terrorist attacks.
Two new telemedical packages were deployed during the demonstration, one for a severely injured victim and the other for a mass casualty setup capable of treating up to 100 people with significant to minor injuries. Both kits incorporate Homeland Security recommendations provided through the “Stop the Bleed” initiative.