Medical Moment: medicine drone delivery

Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 6:10 PM EST
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Some drones have the capability to deliver packages to someone’s front door, but the technology has limitations so it’s mostly used outdoors. Now, a team of scientists is working on a first-of-a-kind solution that would bring healthcare delivery closer than ever before.

“We are building a telehealth drone that will have the ability to go inside people’s homes,” says Dr. Manish Kumar, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Cincinnati. “That’s very, very challenging from technology point of view, because once you go inside people’s homes, you lose connection with the GPS.”

University of Cincinnati engineers are designing and testing special sensors that would allow the drones to maneuver through a front door into a patient’s living room carrying a tablet or smart phone.

Patients would connect with a doctor for a tele-health appointment, and access a special medical kit attached to the drone so they can measure and transmit health information.

Researchers say the prototype is ready and tested for use in peoples’ homes. It will be ideal for patients who live in rural areas miles or hours away.

In the United States, one in four people do not have a primary care provider or easily accessible health center. The U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion says increasing access to routine care is critical for improving health.

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