9 Ways in Which Drones are Transforming Healthcare

My dad is a good storyteller. When we were growing up, he used to tell us stories of how Israelis have special and unmanned planes they use to bomb their targets. I remember him telling us about how they sent drones to attack Iran’s nuclear installations and carried out the famous rescue raid in Kampala during Idi Amin’s reign of terror. As a small boy, my mind could not fathom how a plane could fly without a pilot. Moreover, I had no technological name to attach to those military planes because my father forgot to tell us. But after growing up, I now know they were military drones.

This story is not different from that of the mobile telephones Motorola pioneered in the 70s. Those days, they were a preserve of the police and security firms. No one, not even in the mid 90s, could predict that kids could be owning and operating smartphones. But since tech is highly unpredictable, a mobile phone, one hundred times cheaper and more powerful than the humongous “over over” things Motorola invented, is now a basic commodity. In fact, it could soon become a “universal human right.”

But how does the mobile phone come into the picture? Because it is one the most powerful technologies that have ever impacted human life. Also, the smartphone revolution is connected to drones since most of them can be deployed using smartphones. Just like its counterpart, the mobile phone, drone technology is taking root in many essential sectors of life. In this post, we will show you how drones are affecting healthcare across the world, with a focus on the developing world.

Drones Deliver Medical Supplies to Remote or Disaster-hit Areas 

Drone technology and medical care

Do you remember the adage that says a stitch in time saves two? If you do, you will appreciate the fact that speed and punctuality are essential ingredients in the success of any medical or relief operation. The reason is that human life is at risk during those times. Since the medical sector affects human life, it is needful to have tools that can deliver necessary supplies on time. For instance, supplies such as blood, medicines, medical equipment, drugs, and vaccines require urgent delivery. This could be in hospital settings or during humanitarian crisis situations in any part of the world—the developed and developing alike.

In Rwanda, a tiny Central African nation, a drone-based medical system kicked off in 2016. Under this arrangement, drones fly blood supplies from a central distribution point to hospitals to save lives. The reason is that Rwanda is a very hilly and mountainous nation with an undeveloped road infrastructure. This means timely delivery of such life-saving supplies needs an alternative means of delivery. The drones that deliver these blood supplies drop them slowly to the ground using parachutes. So far, they deliver up to 20 percent of all the blood that is supplied outside the tiny nation’s capital city, Kigali.

But what is the success of such an initiative? In one instance, a young woman in her mid twenties was bleeding to death after delivering. Using drones, her life was saved because the supply arrived on time. Following its success in Rwanda, other African nations such as Tanzania are also planning to integrate drones into their healthcare systems.

Drones Can Facilitate Enterprise Campus Deliveries

Drones and medical deliveries

The healthcare industry does not begin in the hospitals or any other medical facility. Instead, it starts at school—medical schools where health workers are trained. That is why its success will be hampered if students don’t access medical equipment to facilitate their training. But with drones in use, it is easy to ship bio-medical materials to medical training institutions.

Drones Facilitate Medical Warehouses

Warehousing is a critical component of the health sector because they ensure a steady supply of medical equipment and medicines. However, their success depends on how well they are maintained and managed. With drone technology, it is possible to monitor and patrol these storage facilities. Also, drones can perform inventory tasks using scanning and RFID technology. Lastly, they can restock these medical warehouses.

Facilitation of Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy

Another way through which drone technology boosts healthcare is the facilitation of medical rehabilitation and physiotherapy. For instance, medical professionals use them to monitor motion in rehab patients. These machines can also record and analyze patient progress under rehab programs.

Clinical Trials and Environmental Observations

Clinical trials are an important pillar in the success and stability of the health industry. Without them, it would be difficult to advance medical research since it has to be backed by tested and proven clinical evidence. Using drones, it is possible to track environmental data during clinical trials. Also, they can supply accurate, timely, and dependable real-world evidence regarding what impacts patients during such trials.

Drones Can Facilitate Senior Healthcare

Senior citizens are special, and hence, they also have special medical needs that require specialized approaches. With drones, it is easy to deliver medical supplies to their homes on time. They can also monitor their health conditions and send back feedback to relevant medical care givers.

Drones Promote Environmental Monitoring

With drones, it is possible and easy to monitor all the environmental conditions that affect patients’ health. For instance, they can monitor factors such as air quality, noise pollution, and weather patterns in their respective habitations.  

Enhancing the Medical Supply Chain

The success of the health sector depends on how fast supplies move within the supply chain. Drones can facilitate all the processes in the chain quickly and conveniently. For instance, they can fast track the movement of supplies for manufacturing, administration, and extraction.

Labs and Sample Deliveries

Lastly, these little copters can facilitate medical lab processes. For example, they collect patient and environment samples and deliver them to laboratories for further examination.

Parting Shot

With this insightful coverage, you are now up to date with how drones impact healthcare. We hope you will position yourself well to benefit from medical technology.


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