The niftiest new Health Tech can’t help you much if you’re in a remote location or stranded with no way to travel. Technology developments in other fields may soon be ready to come to the rescue, however. Google just received a patent for a “Request apparatus for delivery of medical support implement by UAV.” A UAV is an “unmanned aerial vehicle”.
The system for which Google applied for the patent in 2013 is an end-to-end medical supply and equipment delivery system. The concept includes a fleet of drones of various types, a central network that can receive a specific request and location information, and access to specific supplies and equipment. For example, a fleet of drones with portable defibrillators could ready to be dispatched on-call, with included instructions for use.
In natural disasters such as floods, tsunami, and massive forest fires, isolated people may still have wireless communications to call out for help but no way to travel to a medical facility. Drones could deliver antibiotics, prescriptions, or whatever was needed. Much of the patent involves coordinated unique electronic identifiers for medical conditions or needs, supplies and equipment, UAVs and their own locations, and the location requesting help.
Greater acceptance of telemedicine, apps that capture, manage, store, and share health metrics, further development of tech bits that you carry, wear, or are tattooed, implanted, or swallowed have the potential to improve health care worldwide. Sometimes, though, plain old medical stuff has to be delivered, whether something old tech like bandages or a new biometric measurement device. When delivery is difficult, a drone network such as that proposed in Google’s patent could be the answer.