Bowie working with students to create search and rescue drones, Pathways reports

Pathways, the newsletter of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, reports Robert Bowie, a professor of practice in biomedical engineering at the University of Maine, is working with students to create drones with better search and rescue capacities to find injured people more quickly. Bowie is the Emergency Medical Services director at Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital (CA Dean), and the medical director of Downeast Emergency Medicine Institute (DEEMI), according to Pathways. “The focus at the university in the last six months or so with the students is to try to develop technology that assesses a patient’s vital signs from a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) at far field — which is away from the patient a bit — and near field which is close to them, but all non-invasively,” Bowie said. The drone would also be able to fly in emergency supplies or equipment, and use sensors to determine a patient’s condition. “We bring them the ambulance, we bring them the Humvee, we bring them the UAV, and they actually touch it and see it working and they see how what they are working on could be actually used in a scenario,” said Bowie. He uses his expertise and connections to local organizations and facilities to give students as much of a hands-on experience as possible. “What he brings to the classroom and other faculty members and other students is his vast experience,” said Hemant Pendse, the department chair of the biomedical engineering program at UMaine. The partnership between UMaine, CA Dean and DEEMI is “bringing the best minds … to help save lives across Maine,” the article states.