School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

Targeted Application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) in Telemedicine

Poster Number

263

Document Type

Poster

Status

Medical Student

Abstract Category

Health Services

Keywords

Unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, public health

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

Recent advances in technology have dramatically transformed the healthcare field. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) represent the next wave of advancements that can revolutionize the field. Originally developed to be used in the military, UAVs are making their way into the public sphere. Because they can be flown autonomously and reach almost any geographic location, UAVs have the unique advantage of broadening the reach of medicine. A literature review was conducted to investigate current research projects that focus on the use of drones in medicine. A compressive review was conducted via PubMed using search terms such as “unmanned aerial vehicles,” “UAVs,” and “medicine.” Based on the articles searched, we grouped the application of UAVs into three distinct categories: Prehospital Emergency Care; Expediting Laboratory Diagnostic Testing; and Surveillance. Some of the medical applications of drones include the delivery of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), medical specimens, and hematological products. They have also been used to identify mosquito breeding grounds as well as drowning victims at beaches. These recent studies showcase the potential application of UAVs to increase the access of healthcare to individuals who may be restricted by cost or geography. However, before UAVs can be fully integrated in the medical field, several ethical, safety, and technical issues need to be addressed. These include the cost to maintain drones, current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. Despite the many challenges that remain, the application of drones appears to be promising and can help to increase the quality and accessibility of healthcare.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Open Access

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Targeted Application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) in Telemedicine

Recent advances in technology have dramatically transformed the healthcare field. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) represent the next wave of advancements that can revolutionize the field. Originally developed to be used in the military, UAVs are making their way into the public sphere. Because they can be flown autonomously and reach almost any geographic location, UAVs have the unique advantage of broadening the reach of medicine. A literature review was conducted to investigate current research projects that focus on the use of drones in medicine. A compressive review was conducted via PubMed using search terms such as “unmanned aerial vehicles,” “UAVs,” and “medicine.” Based on the articles searched, we grouped the application of UAVs into three distinct categories: Prehospital Emergency Care; Expediting Laboratory Diagnostic Testing; and Surveillance. Some of the medical applications of drones include the delivery of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), medical specimens, and hematological products. They have also been used to identify mosquito breeding grounds as well as drowning victims at beaches. These recent studies showcase the potential application of UAVs to increase the access of healthcare to individuals who may be restricted by cost or geography. However, before UAVs can be fully integrated in the medical field, several ethical, safety, and technical issues need to be addressed. These include the cost to maintain drones, current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. Despite the many challenges that remain, the application of drones appears to be promising and can help to increase the quality and accessibility of healthcare.