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Top Use Cases of Drones in Healthcare

November 4, 2022 - Parul Saini, Webmedy Team


Populations in remote or mountainous areas face challenges in accessing primary healthcare due to medical supply chain issues. Delays in medical products, stock-outs, expiry of medicines and delay in testing samples are some of the major challenges. Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), which can be used for package delivery, may be the solution to these medical supply chain issues.

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Many medical products are critical but not used regularly, and they often have a short shelf life. Which makes it difficult to stock them economically and efficiently at smaller medical sites.

Let's look at some examples of what drones can carry which makes them extremely useful.

Top Use Cases of Drones in Healthcare

  • Blood Products

    Drones can be used to transport blood, from cities to rural health centres, which is required during surgery or delivery. This will eliminate the need to set up blood storage facilities in rural health centers.

  • Organs for Organ Transplantation

    One of the biggest challenges in organ transplantation is to transfer the donated organ from the donor to the patient in the shortest possible time. Drones can be used to transfer organs from donor to patient, often between 4 to 36 hours depending on the type of organ. Drones could make organ delivery faster, safer and more cost-effective.

  • Diagnostic Specimens

    One of the biggest use-case of drones is in diagnostics. Some diagnostic tests are time and temperature sensitive, so when a sample is taken from a patient, it must be sent to the laboratory within a specific time frame, which can be as short as 2 hours.

  • Critical Medications and Vaccines

    Drones can increase the speed of delivery of life-saving medications and vaccines. Drones can deliver essential medicines like anti-venom for snake bite and dog bite, which will prevent deaths from these causes in rural areas.

  • Emergency Relief material

    Drones can be used in disaster relief operations, such as rescuing victims from collapsed buildings or searching for fishermen lost at sea. Drones can be used for the delivery of food, water and medicines to injured people on board ships. Drones can also be used to transport small medical equipment such as Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

Summary

Drones can be used to transport blood from cities to rural health centres, speed up organ delivery for organ transplantation, timely deliver diagnostic tests specifications, distribute life-saving drugs and vaccines, provide food to injured people on board ships, Delivery of water and medicines, and to search for fishermen lost at sea.

These are just a few examples of how drones can help healthcare. As technology becomes more mature and capabilities increase, it's safe to say that drones will play a bigger role in healthcare in the future.

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