Drones: The Future of Healthcare-Tech

Drones: The Future of Healthcare-Tech?

Last month, a collection of blood samples were picked up by drone in the remote city of Meerut, India, and flew 44 miles to the country’s capital, Delhi. The flight in its entirety (including a battery-swap stop) took just over an hour, nearly half the time it would take to drive the same journey.

This was a trial run carried out by a diagnostics lab, looking for new ways to improve healthcare in India’s more remote regions. But this isn’t the drone company’s first forage into medical transportation. They have also conducted a trial flight from Gurgaon, a Delhi suburb. For this trial, samples were collected by a lab specialist, and then packed in a temperature controlled container attached to the drone before being flown to a private laboratory. This flight claimed to take a third of the usual travel time.

So what does this mean for the future of health-tech? Drones are by no means new technology to be utilized by larger industries, but this may be potentially one of the more successful and impactful operations being carried out.

The main cause for concern with using drones has been the overwhelming amount of paperwork, with flight space being highly regulated. But in August last year, many of these restrictions were lifted and it has become much easier for private companies to organize drone deliveries across the country.

It may seem like a small step in the grand scheme of things, but it’s certainly an important one. Allowing drone deliveries for laboratories could rapidly improve testing times and increase process efficiencies. Could this be the new mode of transportation for all laboratories? We will have to wait and see.