Since their introduction, drones have been used for many different applications. For example, they have been used for surveillance, delivery, and have even been used for urgent health care purposes. In fact, in simulated emergency situations, drones were able to carry defibrillators to heart attack victims faster than an ambulance (by 16 minutes). If bystanders are willing and able to use the devices, the shorter response time can make a huge difference and even save lives.
There are many other ways drones can make an impact on health care:
Deliver Medication To Rural Americans
A clinic based in Southwest Virginia has been eyeing the use of drones as a way to deliver medication to uninsured residents in remote areas of Appalachia. Two years ago, the first drone approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to deliver medication took flight. However, FAA restrictions have since prevented the clinic from using the drone for deliveries.
Send Contraceptives To Sub-Saharan Africa
Women in Ghana have limited access to contraceptives, so the United Nations commissioned 5-foot drones to air drop condoms over rural parts of Ghana. Other countries are considering adopting the use of drones to ensure quick and efficient deliveries.
Transport Blood Samples To Labs For Swifter HIV Testing
Despite the fact that one in ten people in Malawi is HIV-positive, the nation has only eight labs that can test for the disease. They have relied on motorcycle drivers to deliver blood samples from rural villages for testing, however, the use of drones can help labs turn around results faster.
Get Google Glass To Disaster Victims
Drones could potentially deliver telemedicine kits, including Google Glass, to get doctors in touch with victims of natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Google Glass would enable a bystander to be walked through treating someone in need of emergency care. Again, FAA approval would be necessary for the use of this.
Get Blood Units To Surgeons In Remote Parts Of Rwanda
As early as last fall, Zipline used commercial drones to deliver medical supplies from its distribution center in Muhanga, Rwanda. Remote clinics are able to order supplies via text and receive an air drop delivery in as quickly as 15 minutes.
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