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Medical Applications of Drones for Disaster Relief: A Review of the Literature.

Medical Applications of Drones for Disaster Relief: A Review of the Literature.

Medical Applications of Drones for Disaster Relief: A Review of the Literature.

Surg Technol Int. 2018 Nov 01;33:

Authors: Rosser JB, Parker BC, Vignesh V

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Rapid progress has been made with unmanned aerial systems (UAS), which are now used in a wide variety of different fields, including media, agriculture, wildlife, and infrastructure. However, the application of UAS for medical purposes, and in particular disaster relief efforts, has been slower to develop. This paper will review and present pertinent studies in the literature.
METHODOLOGY: Studies related to drones and medical applications for disaster relief were identified as part of a larger search regarding the civilian application of drones. A search for civilian drone applications was performed in the EBSCO (Elton B. Stephens Company) database. Non-civilian applications as well as redundant sources were excluded.
RESULTS: The search identified 711 sources pertaining to civilian drone applications. Of these, 117 involved drone applications in disaster relief, and 28 articles specifically addressed medical uses.
CONCLUSION: Drones can be useful during immediate and non-immediate medical disaster relief efforts. They can provide an instant telecommunications infrastructure, assist in telemedicine-enabled clinical services, perform equipment/drug/patient delivery, enhance search and rescue efforts, assess damage and map disaster zones. Rapid processing of permission for emergency operations, promotion of industry expansion, public awareness, and public participation must be emphasized for these to become routine applications. There is a major concern about the organizational umbrella that would promote this initiative. Creation of an organization such as a Drone Civil Air Patrol Wing (DCAPW) could improve our ability to provide post-disaster healthcare delivery services.

PMID: 30384393 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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