Drone Apps for Healthcare and Medicine

May 6, 2016 | Natasha Singh

Drone Apps for Healthcare and Medicine
Drone Apps for Healthcare and Medicine

Drones aren’t usually seen as something designed to help people, but the last half decade or so has led to a slight change in the attitude to these flying robots. As technology improves, we’re seeing that drones have a vast capacity beyond taking lives – in fact, drones are can be even more effective at saving lives.

The United States is currently in the middle of a policy shift towards drones. The last few years have seen some troubles with drones and other aerial craft; but clever entrepreneurs can sniff the opportunity here. The need for improved regulation means that more and more people are buying and using drones. Now is the time to get involved in the burgeoning market, to capitalize on the low barriers to entry, and lack of stiff competition.

Apps for drones can service many different industries, both on for B2B services and B2C services. We’ll be primarily talking about consumer-side apps today, but B2B apps are a growing market too! Check out our latest blog on that topic for some ideas. I’m sure by this point and time, most people have even heard a little bit about drones being utilized by Amazon.

But today we’re going to talk about a new intersection between Drones and industry: Drones for medical purposes. This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about Apps for medicine: we’ve talked about Wearable apps for medicine and we’ve even talked about Virtual Reality apps and medicine. But Drones for healthcare are a beast of a different color.

Often times, emergency care and first responders are not capable of getting to the site of an accident to prevent long term injury or death. They have to first get the call, mobilize, fight traffic to reach the site of the incident, treat the patient, and then take the patient to the nearest hospital. This isn’t to knock our first responders – it’s merely pointing out a real issue in our healthcare system. And, as regular readers of our blog will know, a problem with an existing service creates the opportunity for improvement.

For entrepreneurs, innovators, disruptors, and business owners everywhere, problems = opportunities. Innovation and technology are driven by people attempting to solve an issue with the best resources possible. Medical drones for healthcare use is just another aspect of the prism that is business innovation.

Drones in Healthcare

Drones provide many different opportunities to improve healthcare services. Let’s take a look at one of the biggest areas drones can improve health services. But this is only a brief look into the industry and comes nowhere near how many different ways a drone can help. After all, we’re app makers and market specialists, not doctors! If you work in Healthcare and have an idea you think would make a good medical app for a drone (or for a normal mobile device), drop us a line and we can help get it to the app store in 4 weeks or less. We will send you an NDA and get onto a call with you to understand your requirement, budget and plan ahead.

In the US, medicine shortages are rare and most hospitals and clinics are well supplied or can acquire medicine pretty quickly. But what about countries with a less developed healthcare infrastructure? Or isolated, hard to reach places? This idea was the brainchild of entrepreneur and tech innovator Keller Rinaudo, CEO of Zipline. Zipline is a drone delivery service for hospitals and clinics throughout Western Rwanda. Clinics and hospitals request medicine from a central distribution center; the meds are rapidly loaded onto a drone and airdropped to the requestors.

Each drone (or “Zip”) costs a few thousand dollars, but are cheaper than most vehicles and have no need of roads. Even better, the Zips have a cruising speed of 90 MPH and an extensive range. Plus there is little chance of the shipment being intercepted by hostile forces. Zipline. Rinaudo believes that they will soon be making anywhere from 50 to 150 deliveries a day to more than 20 clinics.

Obviously, we don’t build Drones, we build apps, so you may be wondering how we can help here. Well, how do you think the clinics send a message to Zipline’s distribution center? An app. How do the Zip pilots control the flight path of the drones? A tablet app. Apps are used to control drones, so don’t think that getting into this field means you need to buy a bunch of drones – you just need an app. And apps are pretty inexpensive – our pricing starts at $4,000 and we offer free six month post-launch technical support. Contact us today and hire the best drone app development team possible!

But we’re doing a disservice here by implying that this service is only useful to develop nations. A lack of access to medicine may not be as pressing an issue as it is in Rwanda, but the US loses hundreds of citizens a year to extreme sports enthusiasts. Take snowboarders and skiers – avalanches are a constant concern for snow enthusiasts and first responders.

Once an avalanche occurs, it is dangerous for other people to step foot on the snow. Drones can take the place of first responders here by delivering medicine. Even better, doctors, EMTs, or other healthcare providers can use the Drone’s camera to examine someone caught in an avalanche. This can allow the health professional to diagnose a patient, and possibly go so far as to offer different medicine. At the very least, a drone can be used to keep someone awake, an important consideration in stranded people with possible cranial trauma.

Heck, nearly 90% of people trapped in an avalanche are completely buried. Often first responders use rescue dogs, and to great success. But it takes time often it takes too much time. Drones can be easily modified to scan for heat signatures, rapidly pinpointing stranded individuals. And it’s not just avalanches – Mountain climbers get stranded on mountaintops that are difficult to reach; truckers get in accidents on roads, miles and miles from the nearest emergency center; hikers get lost in thousands of miles of untamed wilderness.

No matter how one chooses to apply a drone for medical use, it is undeniable that the need and market exists. In ten years or so drones will be ubiquitous in healthcare.

Are you feeling a great healthcare idea tickling the back of your mind? Why not give our experts a call at 408.805.0495 and we can help you flesh out your idea and turn it into the best app for drones that can help to save lives. Contact us today to make your idea a reality.

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