When Doctors Can’t Reach Sick People in Madagascar, They Send This Medicine-Carrying Drone
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Due to the continued use of drone strikes by the military, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are often associated more with ending lives than saving them. That’s a trend researchers at Stony Brook University want to help reverse.
Working with medical drone manufacturer Vayu, they’ve been developing tools for use in rural Madagascar: using UAVs to help deliver cutting-edge medical technology to the most isolated communities.
“A billion people in the world do not have access to reliable roads,” Dr. Peter Small, the Founding Director of Stony Brook’s Global Health Institute, told Digital Trends. “For them, getting sick requires running a gauntlet in order to get healthcare. That’s very common in Madagascar, where 70 percent of people live in very rural settings, and a significant number live in truly remote settings. These are places that are only accessible on foot; you can’t even get a bicycle there. The idea [of our work] is that by using drones we can not just fly out to villages, but collect diagnostic specimens and deliver care. It’s really revolutionary.”