Telehealth, Drones and Amazon
April 5, 2021
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by Snigdh Baunthiyal

Telehealth and virtual healthcare are the latest trends in medicine. Telehealth has seen tremendous growth during the pandemic. The usual ways of connecting in telehealth is also seeing an advancement in the way of drones. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have come up with a way to integrate telehealth services into a drone. The drones can carry medicines and medicinal supplies and are small enough to navigate people’s homes. Victoria Wangia-Anderson, Manish Kumar, Seung-Yeon Lee and Debi Sampsel worked together to invent these drones. 

Another novel aspect of drones is that they have integrated cameras and a display screen. This means the patient can talk to health care professionals from their homes.

One of the inventors, Debi Sampsel who’s from the UC College of Nursing said, ‘When COVID-19 hit, telehealth emerged as a prime way to talk with healthcare professionals and receive certain types of therapies. Telehealth is here to stay.’

According to the press release by UC news, health disparities are most obvious in rural areas where medical services are far scarcer and more distant. Rural populations remain severely underserved with only 11% doctors serving these populations. Access to healthcare is a growing problem in the world in general. More than 1 billion people live in areas in broken conditions which makes access to hospitals, pharmacies extremely difficult.

Telehealth and the Pandemic

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA, telehealth use increased 154% during the last week of March 2020. According to a 2016 report released by Healthmine 93% of people who used telehealth services said that their individual health care costs went down and patients saved as much as 2 hours per visit. 

Telehealth and business

Telehealth is surely here to stay and only grow. Amazon is going to launch its app-based healthcare system Amazon Cares in most states of USA according to Business Insider .Currently, Amazon Cares is only available to the company’s Washington employees. In some areas, app users can have a nurse dispatched to them for follow-up treatments. Amazon is aiming at providing all of its employees with access to the app and is also looking into signing up with other companies to provide their employees with these services as well.

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