Potential of Drones in Health Care and Services
With their speed and manoeuvrability, drones have long captured attention for their potential to deliver shopping orders and photograph the world from above. But the machines can also serve a medical purpose by shuttling drugs, defibrillators and other equipment to emergency sites or care facilities, and increase the victim's chances of survival.
As technology continues to adapt and evolve, healthcare professionals explore unique ways to deliver more effective care. The use of drones for medical purposes brings many advantages, such as quick help, shortening the time of traveling to the patient, reduction of complications in the injured owing to a short time to wait for rescue, support and improvement of basic operations of medical emergency teams, and the opportunity to reach geographically inaccessible places for basic means of medical transport.
For improved efficiency, last mile delivery systems like inter-hospital drones have observed rapid deployments with technologies being designed to make systems time efficient. Improvements in battery life, GPS navigation and artificial intelligence functions are making drones a more practical option in healthcare
Distance has become Meaningless. In fact, Geography has become History!
Today DRONES are increasingly being used in healthcare to reach the unreached and make isolation, relative not absolute. Challenging terrain and gaps in infrastructure holds back half the world from accessing essential health products and services.
Potential applications of UAVs in healthcare are broad based. They include
(1) Prehospital Emergency Care,
(2) Expediting Laboratory Diagnostic Testing,
Currently, UAVs have been shown to deliver vaccines, haematological products and automated external defibrillators. In addition, they are being used in the identification of mosquito habitats and drowning victims at beaches as a public health surveillance modality.
Deliveries between Hospitals
A first step in the use of medical drones is likely to be deliveries between hospitals. The treatment of patients often requires the transfer of test samples or the delivery of medical supplies that may not be in stock everywhere. Such transfers could also take place between small regional hospitals with limited supplies and large health centers. The rapid transfer of samples to labs that are equipped to perform the required tests and the return of corresponding medication could save lives.
Drone transfers between hospitals are comparatively simple because the take-off and landing sites are known and the route can be programmed. Also, time saved in a trip across a city with heavy traffic or from downtown to a remote regional health facility can be substantial and the cost would be low.
Deliveries to Accident and Disaster Relief Sites
Speed and versatility of UAV technology offers virtually unlimited opportunities to deliver needed medical supplies and assistance to individuals in remote or dangerous areas. They can even connect doctors to patients in a more expeditious manner. Victims of natural disasters or emergency situations could be administered life-saving care by good-Samaritan bystanders who are provided remote instruction on treatment administration - arrival of life saving supplies can provide passers-by with the ability to respond quickly while the emergency vehicle is en route.
Delivering Medical Cargo by Drone
Favourable Government Initiatives
Drones have proven their versatility during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to delivering medical supplies, the technology is also being used to disinfect cities in Philippines, India, Ghana, Nigeria, and observe and enforce lockdown rules in Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Tunisia, among others.
Mobile for Drone Delivery Development
GSMA created a Drone Interest Group (DIG) to support drone operation through cellular connectivity. How to incorporate drones into airspace and how to use the mobile network as a communication channel for aviation usage.
GSMA and the Global UTM Association (GUTMA) has set up a joint drone working group, the Aerial Connectivity Joint Activity (ACJA). Unlock the full potential of drones by allowing them to operate beyond the pilot’s visual line of sight.
Companies Delivering Medical Supplies through Drones
Axiomtek Medical, Dunzo Digital, EHang, Flirtey, Flytrex, Google Drones, Healthcare Integrated Rescue Operations (HiRO), Matter Net, Project Wing, Swoop Aero, TU Delft, UPS Flight Forward, Vayu Drones, WeRobotics, Wingcopter, XTEND, ZipLine.
Key Elements Included In The Study: Global Medical Drones Market
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