Surgical and Medical Applications of Drones: A Comprehensive Review
Drones have the ability to gather real time data cost effectively, to deliver payloads and have initiated the rapid evolution of many industrial, commercial, and recreational applications. Unfortunately, there has been a slower expansion in the field of medicine. This article provides a comprehensive review of current and future drone applications in medicine, in hopes of empowering and inspiring more aggressive investigation.
Drones are used for surveillance of disaster sites and areas with biological hazards, as well as in epidemiology for research and tracking disease spread. Telecommunication drones are being used for diagnosis and treatment, preoperative evaluation, and telementoring in remote areas. Drones have the potential to be reliable medical delivery platforms for microbiological and laboratory samples, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, emergency medical equipment, and patient transport. Government agencies have placed drone use on the national agenda. The next steps include aggressive research initiatives in the areas of safety, industry expansion, increased public awareness, and participation.