Importance of Drones in Healthcare Delivery Amid a Pandemic: Current and Generation Next Application

Published In: Open Journal of Medical Research (ISSN: 2734-2093)
Article Link: https://www.openjournalsnigeria.org.ng/journals/index.php/ojmr/article/view/187/125
Author(s): Dr. Oigbochie, A.E., Dr. Odigie E.B. and Dr. Adejumo, B.I.G.

Importance of Drones in Healthcare Delivery Amid a Pandemic: Current and Generation Next Application
Photo Illustration: Importance of Drones in Healthcare Delivery Amid a Pandemic: Current and Generation Next Application
Photo Credit: AUDA-NEPAD

This classic review was written by three (3) Laboratory scientists namely; Dr. Oigbochie, A.E., Dr. Odigie E.B. and Dr. Adejumo, B.I.G. all of Department of Medical Laboratory Science, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria. This classic review currently receiving a fast-growing citation is focused on the importance of Drones in healthcare delivery amid Covid-19 Pandemic. The authors posited that the risk of physical contact during delivery of vital medical components can be well eliminated with the employment of drones.

The authors defined drone as an aircraft controlled from a distance without a human pilot onboard using devices ingrained with software flight protocols. They explained that outside the military, it lately just started to reach the relevancy of conventional businesses. They argued that the healthcare sector is an industry where this capacity is needed particularly in a pandemic in providing a responsive healthcare service in a contact-free manner.

The authors cited the delivery of blood supplies, vaccines, medications and other medical supplies to rural areas with no access to health facilities being made possible by the use of drones as they can navigate through difficult barriers such as buildings and bridges as well as areas that have been rendered inaccessible by conventional land and air transport. They believe that drones have triggered a swift advancement in a variety of commercial, recreational and industrial applications with its capability to effectively put together real-time information on events at a low cost.

The authors however noted that, its breakthrough in healthcare has been slower compared to other sectors where drones have been used extensively. Hence, this review is aimed at emphasizing the importance of drones in healthcare delivery noting its current and future usability.

In this paper, the authors employed a systematic review of relevant literatures. Their findings suggest that drones have been used effectively in healthcare in some quarters viz a viz: enabling transportation of birth control, biopsy for emergency surgeries and other medical and laboratory supplies within few minutes. Considering the current global situation (COVID-19 pandemic), the future might experience more outpatient care and perhaps home-based care previously admitted in hospitals. Test results, medications and other treatment ordered by physicians may be couriered to patient’s residence via drones.

In conclusion, the authors re-emphasized that drones offer a variety of exciting opportunities; delivery of medical and laboratory supplies, blood products including biopsy for emergency surgeries is just a starting point. That drones have the capability to evolve medical care as well as propel advancement in the health industry.

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