How Drones Could Change The Future of the Healthcare Delivery System

Healthcare is an important aspect of everyone’s life. Being young or old, healthcare is necessary. Advancement has arisen a new hope as robots and drones. Drones, unmanned vehicles, are controlled manually or automatically from a distance. In case of disaster or medical emergency, drones had been a great boon. Different countries are using drone technology in their ways to fight the deadly virus or to restore the plantation. Limited availability and the common problem of unreachability, drones had proved their use.

Drones built as a weapon for the military in the mid-1850s had seen rapid growth in other fields. To support the local livelihood, drones had been used to reforest the villages in Kenya. In Panama, the mangrove forest is been restoring with drones by releasing the seeds on the land. The warfare field, weather department, rescue department, the entertainment industry has seen drone development. There are now 14 types of drones that are in use.

Drones are costly but can serve multiple purposes and can serve society. Drones are difficult to design. According to the usage, drones are designed. The parameters that we have to look forward to are flight duration, operating conditions, reliability, safety, payload, ground control station, and various factors. The government has made several laws and regulations regarding drones. Some of the new guidelines are: 

  • The capacity of the payload is increased and is now between 300kg to 500kg.
  • Drone pilots can fly at night according to the rules.
  • Before registration, there is no need for security clearance.

Let us look at some of the practical cases in healthcare that have been witnessed worldwide:

  • Nepal: Deadly spread of bacterial infection, tuberculosis takes a toll on human lives. Similarly, in the Himalayan Regions because of unreachability to the health center, people are forced to die. Flying Labs started the facility of a drone pilot to ensure a faster testing process. The faster transport system of the test samples has promoted the drones and is now used in around 30 countries.
  • Fiji: South Pacific islands are ground for the viruses such as Zika and Dengue. Insecticide sprays can only be limited to the roadside areas. The engineers from the company WeRobotics are working to release the Mosquito containing Wolbachia. This helps in the reduction of the mosquitoes containing Dengue and Zika virus.
  • UK: The Isle of Wight often encounters the transfer of pathology samples from airport Lee-on-Solent to the aerodrome of Binstead. The drones took normally 10 minutes instead of the ferries, which take 30 minutes. Drones’ advantages in this situation are that we can fly drones at night, in fog, or in severe weather conditions. We used ferries on the island, but the drone’s design cannot carry out the operation.
  • Hyderabad: In 2019, the state of Telangana has looked towards drones to transfer the medical supply. Along with this, the government has made a plan to deliver long-tail medicines, blood supply, and organs. India, along with Africa, is taking initiative for the drone procurement.

They used drones in healthcare, agriculture, warfare, plantation, and various fields. Talking about healthcare, earlier drones are used to take pathology samples and blood samples. With the upliftment of government regulations on the payload. The engineers are looking forward to a bigger picture of delivering organs. COVID-19 has seen the restriction on the movement of the people.

This has badly affected people in remote areas. In case of medical emergencies or organ transplants, the drone can help in faster delivery. Supplying vaccines is done with the help of a drone. The future directions in which the engineers are working: Prehospital Emergency Care, Surveillance, and Laboratory Diagnostic Testing. The warfare field is also looking forward to future applications. Drones can protect your family and friends from the Dengue virus.

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