Drones to transport patient samples in areas with poor transportation infrastructure

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BD and the international nonprofit WeRobotics recently completed a two-week study in the Peruvian Amazon testing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, commonly known as “drones”) for expanding healthcare access” BD (2018).

BD report “BD and the international nonprofit WeRobotics recently completed a two-week study in the Peruvian Amazon testing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, commonly known as “drones”) for expanding healthcare access. The study was conducted to evaluate the use of UAVs to transport supplies and patient samples in areas with poor transportation infrastructure, a significant challenge in many countries.

In Peru specifically, weak transportation infrastructure frequently delays the transport of blood samples, causing sample degradation and making samples invalid for testing. Furthermore, barriers to personal travel and low personal incomes make access to testing locations a challenge for initial and follow-up testing.

The study in Peru focused on three elements: 1) gathering real-world data on the capabilities of autonomous UAVs for transporting supplies and patient samples, 2) evaluating the integration of UAVs into healthcare systems, and 3) testing the impact of UAV transport on CD4 testing of blood samples (CD4 level is a clinical indicator of HIV disease progression).”

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