The healthcare industry has been known to be a late adopter of technology because of the rigid regulations and other barriers unique to the industry. This should be expected because, well, we are dealing with lives here. That said, the healthcare industry is slowly but steadily adopting new technologies in the quest to improve standards around the globe. Perhaps the fascinating one now has got to be the adoption of drones used for transport with the potential to save many lives and make service delivery more efficient. Well, let’s dig deeper into the world of transport drones and healthcare.
For starters, drones can be used to transport lots of healthcare materials including medicine, medical pieces of equipment, first aid kits, and blood samples among others. There is no doubt that drones are arguably best transport media for healthcare, with its speed, portability, and ability to easily penetrate very remote areas with bad terrain and poor roads. Going through the every way drones can be applied will take probably books(and yes many books have been written about them). Instead, we will just go over a few of those.
Applications of Drones in Healthcare
Emergency Transport Services in Case of Natural Disasters
One of the earliest application of drones was to deliver help when disasters strike. One such case was with hurricane sandy in 2012. This was especially important because ambulances could not reach the people who needed help because of terrain and weather. Thanks to drones, small aid packages were delivered which saved lives. Additionally, drones were used to provide an aerial survey of a disaster location for assessment and further action.
Delivering Quick Response to Heart Attack Cases
Timely treatment can be the difference between being fit again and permanent disability or death for heart attack patients. And the drone spirit stands by this statement-making access for treatment faster than traditional ambulances. Drones can be used to deliver defibrillators to these scenes faster than ambulances-they can be equipped with specific, easy instructions on how to use them. Bystanders and family can follow these easy instructions and provide life-saving interventions.
Disseminating Drugs From Central Centers
Not every drug can be found in every hospital, this is especially true for expensive and rare drugs like antivenin which are only stocked in central centers and “hot-spots”. But when snake bites occur, and they always do, antivenin needs to be administered as soon as possible to counter the effects of the poison. With drones, this won’t be a problem, these drugs can be stored at a central location and delivered swiftly at the request of a local hospital within a matter of minutes
Delivering Timely Medical Tests Between Healthcare Facilities
Medical pieces of equipment are advancing day by day and lab tests are becoming the norm in healthcare, except some hospital can’t afford some of this equipment. Well, what ifhospitalsbuya drone instead and use it to ship samples to a hospital with these specialized types of lab equipment? Think about it, better service delivery and in fact, this has already been tested by “Doctors with no borders” using dummy TB samples.
Aiding Public Health Service Delivery
Another field of health care that can benefit from drones is public health. Public health specialists usually work with large masses of people to provide them with education and products e.g. vaccines, condoms etc. Sometimes public health specialists may not be able to penetrate rural areas to deliver these products and because of this failed preventive measures, the whole health care system pays a dear price. But there is hope, drones can just be used to reach out to these interior places and provide these materials, ranging from fliers to vaccines.
There is no doubt that drones are the future of transport in health care because of the different clear advantages it offers over traditional methods of transport. But there are several challenges that will need to be overcome to realize the real power of these unmanned aerial vehicles. The main challenge is the rigid rules and regulations that have prevented the use of drones. But slowly by slowly, institutions are accepting this new technology and seeing the potential help they can provide. The future looks bright with this kind of technology in healthcare!