Unmanned drones could soon be used to transport much-needed blood, medicine and medical equipment to patients in some of the more far-flung areas of the UK, according to a report by the BBC.
Using drones to deliver blood and hospital medicine could provide a “reliable and low-cost” solution for patients in rural Wales, say researchers at Aberystwyth University. Depending on their findings, further research could be carried out to assess the viability of using drones to deliver samples and medical equipment such as defibrillators. As well as providing better healthcare coverage to isolated areas, drones could mean that patients are able to stay at home rather than relying on hospitals, providing welcome respite to hospital staff.
January 2018’s Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care in Wales recommended that the country “should maximise the benefits of technology and innovation” in order to “deliver more effective and efficient care”. Hywel Da University Health Board’s Matthew Willis said that “there is nothing stopping us from using this technology and these drones to deliver this care.”
The public view of drones went from handy gadget to severe nuisance in December last year, when around 1,000 flights were either cancelled or diverted and some 140,000 passengers were affected following repeated drone sightings at Gatwick Airport. The researchers say that focus groups will be used to allay any “uncertainty or concerns” surrounding the potential role of drones in society.
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