Archer First Response Systems: Delivering medical aid to save lives

About Archer First Response Systems

Archer First Response Systems helps deliver urgent emergency care supplies through its deployment platform that leverages unmanned airborne vehicles and cellular networks for immediate delivery. Based in Florida, Archer was founded in 2013.

Industries: Healthcare
Location: United States

Nearly 326,000 people die from cardiac arrest yearly and a majority of these deaths can be prevented if an automated external defibrillator shock is quickly delivered within a critical four-minute window. Archer First Response Systems chose to bolster the efficiency of its Emergency First Response platform, which sends small unmanned air vehicles (UAV) with supplies to those in need of emergency care with issues including sudden cardiac arrest, opioid overdoses, or anaphylactic shock.

Google Cloud Results

  • Reduces operating costs by eliminating the need to maintain expensive on-premises servers and hardware
  • Simplifies platform management with intuitive Google Cloud Platform administration tools
  • Provides reliable 11-square mile and 3-minute UAV arrival range through Google performance gains
  • Improves platform security for sensitive internal data and functionality

Reduces update times from nearly 1 day to under 1 hour

Enabling Change

Solutions: Internet of Things

Archer’s deployment system enables the immediate dispatch of small unmanned aerial vehicles that can bypass ground traffic delays to directly deliver equipment such as defibrillators and epinephrine to people in an emergency health situation such as a cardiac arrest, drug overdose, or severe allergic reaction. When an emergency request comes in, the Archer platform enables the automatic deployment of its first response vehicles along pre-programmed flight routes directly to the scene of the request.

For locations such as golf courses or retirement communities, an Archer First Response System can take a straight path to the person in need of care and maximize their chances for recovery by arriving faster than if someone had to physically retrieve a first aid pack. According to Archer, its emergency deployment system can typically cover an 11-square mile range and reach a destination in less than 3 minutes, which can be critical for saving a life as brain damage can occur within minutes of cardiac arrest.

Archer aims to partner with larger entities such as universities or theme parks along with private community installations. In one beta installation that would cover 12,000 homes in a retirement community, Archer estimates that its platform would only cost around 45 cents per month for each household, because of cost savings provided by leveraging existing Google Cloud Platform (GCP) infrastructure.

Archer utilizes GCP to automate logistics coordination and fleet upkeep for its UAVs. Cloud IoT Core is the key channel for UAV administration and allows Archer to perform tasks including pushing hardware updates and changing settings as well as facilitating vehicle deployment, while Firebase powers the Archer mobile app. Additional platform support comes from Cloud Pub/Sub and Cloud SQL, which assist with services including UAV performance alerts that track conditions such as battery life and maintenance needs.

“Our biggest costs are hardware and installations, so having our systems in the cloud saves us a lot of money up front,” says Gordon Folkes, Founder & CEO at Archer First Response Systems. “Being able to set up and run all those things in the cloud saves us time and manpower and allows us to offer an extremely effective first response system at a price point comparable to or less than a cup of coffee per month.”

Google Kubernetes Engine, Container Registry, and Compute Engine offer vital scalability and performance. Accessible managed service and administrative resources simplify routine upkeep for Archer, allowing development staff to focus on higher-level platform needs. As Archer grows its platform, these solutions give developers confidence and the flexibility to prepare for future growth without adding unnecessary complexity. Archer has also explored integrating solutions including Stackdriver and BigQuery for further back-end support. These solutions give Archer the data backbone required to achieve a robust preventative and prescriptive maintenance program required to maintain the highest-level capability and stability for its large fleet of life-saving UAVs.

As a startup, the agility provided by GCP and Kubernetes has been critical for Archer and its development needs. GCP enables Archer to be flexible and nimble when it comes to identifying and prototyping use cases such as developing deployment methods. GCP also played a critical role in how Archer successfully launched and demoed its platform in only seven months. The costs of tasks including provisioning servers, network administration, and building out an Internet of Things platform from scratch would have been prohibitive if Archer had to do so independently. But instead of having to spend valuable time in building out infrastructure, GCP allowed Archer to focus on development to drive support, funding, and partnerships.

“We know that we’ll be able to address IT challenges quickly with the core of our system by using Google Cloud Platform and Google Kubernetes Engine,” says Spencer Hehl, Chief Technical Architect at Archer First Response Systems.

“If we have three minutes to get a defibrillator to someone suffering from cardiac arrest, how do we locate the person in need and deliver equipment to them in time? The deployment has to be highly considered. Google Cloud Platform empowers us with the system speed and reliability to save lives.”

Gordon Folkes, Founder & CEO, Archer First Response Systems

About Archer First Response Systems

Archer First Response Systems helps deliver urgent emergency care supplies through its deployment platform that leverages unmanned airborne vehicles and cellular networks for immediate delivery. Based in Florida, Archer was founded in 2013.

Industries: Healthcare
Location: United States