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The next level of healthcare transports consumers beyond their daily inconveniences

A new system of logistics is flying to save lives on behalf of the healthcare industry! Limited by time and distance to rural areas helps medical care get to where ambulances cannot, and much faster.

Since timing is everything in these situations, accessibility is a real obstacle -- considering some homes are built in geographical terrains that are mountainous. This demands skilled experts operating these commercial drones to avoid wasting resources when embracing challenges. These risks consider lawfully flying at various altitudes over a rough terrain without touching the local fauna and boundary restrictions imposed by the government. While operating within those regulations can seem paralysing enough, imagine already concentrating to navigate your drone, without losing it in the windy zones, when faced with the predicament of losing 10% of battery power for every 2000 meters higher you go.

As Heraclitus once said, "Change is the only constant in life". This observation has been much reflected concerning technological progress, and thus we are looking to the future where improving medical features could finally be integrated into a drone system.

The potential for diagnostic ability with scanners for radiology and ultrasound could enable a qualified diagnosis and examination in real-time, without experts needed to be physically there, to recommend the next best procedure.

The development of 3D through-wall imaging that currently aids emergency rescues with the threatening 'X-ray drones' could venture beyond mapping out infrastructures, and spying on what individuals are hiding behind their walls, and into looking through the skin surface to examine the human anatomy. Currently, the operation needs to be maintained by a drone that has a Wi-Fi transmitter and another with a receiver that sends out radio waves that will map out structures and therefore launching this into the healthcare industry may require a variety of different drones to be operated, or one that is multifunctional and designed to accomplish its wide range of tasks. Its impact to help those in need would be profound, should the medical world gravitate toward this direction. The benefits of reaching people faster would be definitely be more eco-friendly to save individuals from minor inconveniences, but more importantly, it may also save our planet.

So far, drones have been employed for reliable healthcare delivery for developing countries facing fatally demanding healthcare challenges. Drones have been significantly used to send automatic external defibrillators to victims of heart attack. The uninsured locals, residing in the outskirts, also benefitted from medication deliveries when this scheme had a clinic partner with NASA to launch a research-based testing. Meanwhile, the United Nations employed the use of drones to execute its venture in sub-Saharan Africa to release a shower of condoms to empower women to gain access to contraception. Such programmes to promote family planning have become a long-term necessity and demand more frequent trips that can be taken in a matter of minutes compared to the previous forecast of days.

During crisis, it essentially allows rural villages in remote areas to have blood transported from across various hospitals that have stock for their blood type, or for performing tests, where locals are, sending the samples to laboratories without any travel inconveniences.

Recently, since the use of commercial drones has been labelled mainstream, there are complaints that they have become a nuisance to people and trigger more concerns.

You'll find more people complaining that drones tend to destroy the ambience of a place whenever more operators are engaging this literal flying robot. It buzzes noisily through the air and ensures their memories are being visually recorded. Given the superior quality of aesthetics for drone-users, it has an advantage over ordinary photographers in the area who are limited to their creativity to find the right angles to capture a good shot. However, it disadvantages ordinary photographers by conspicuously appearing in the landscape to obstruct the scenery with the air traffic it causes and prevent photographers from being able to take a normal shot until they have cleared. Even for people who have come all the way to visit, drones can be distracting for them to fully appreciate the natural environment in peace.

Imagine your view being blocked when trying to enjoy or photograph the beautiful sunrise

While most civilian drone operators are compliant with the legal aspects of flying a drone, there are a number of cases where laws have been violated. During 2017, there was an average of 10 police reports made a day in the UK. It identified spying in neighbourhoods and mid-air collision into properties, which is both dangerous and is a potential threat for burglary.

The struggle to adapt to this transition of accessible technology that constantly evolves to upgrade its potential is a real challenge that has led to tension for victims learning about their unneighbourly hobbyist next door. Instead of exchanging traditional formalities that lead to neighbours getting invited to tour your home to both check out its design and get to know you better, these forms of socialisation were no longer required — already using drones to comprehend your domestic life.

Besides invasion of privacy, even areas under high surveillance were not exempt from crime with reports of drones delivering packages into cell windows — many of these packages later discovered to contain drugs that inmates received into their living quarters.

Drone smuggling package into prison cell for inmate

Even LEGO, a brand that was once influential in pioneering the DIYDrones movement, has chosen to enforce a negative stereotype of drones in one of their products ever since its bad reputation in the media of late. The brand has two drone products available, while it has been the supplier for DIY enthusiasts who opted to build their drones with their material.

In the LEGO CITY range’s newly launched ‘Sky Police Drone Chase’ kit, players are encouraged to capture the crook stealing a golden statue with a drone. Its other product featuring a drone ‘LEGO Creator Drone Explorer’ involved a less sinister undertone. The neutral description invited players to “carry out secret missions and explorations”.

While this does shift from the previous notion, with the set coming complete with a cockpit and landing gear, it does seem to suggest the better type of drones fulfill a military agenda for 'secret missions'. Meanwhile, the use of civilian drones actually has involved a number of not-so-secret humanitarian and environmental missions, such as emergency response whenever a crisis occurs.

Only last month, drones made a noble comeback in the media when the Notre Dame fire broke out while it was closed for renovation. They had been strategically operated to monitor the outbreak of flames and were able to gather existing data in real-time to control it. It helped to locate the most effective areas to release the water from the fire hoses, to prevent further damage to the interior of the building.

This incident had allowed the restriction policy for drones in Paris to be temporarily lifted off its geo-fenced territory. The Culture and Interior Ministry had lent its DJI models with thermal cameras (Mavic Pro and Matrice M210) to the firefighters to execute their work.

Meanwhile, the use of drones in the restoration process of Notre Dame promises potential. It is a necessary solution to evaluate hazards and risks for the safety of construction workers, by enabling drones to rapidly image the infrastructure and create a 3D model using photogrammetry.

Drones enabling real-time assessment to put out the flames in Notre Dame Cathedral

Uncover the use of geospatial solutions to incorporate into any of these areas in your construction, design and management projects!

The diagram below spots 10 ways that geospatial apps can be used to increase productivity when it comes to measuring the environment. By selecting the right tool, professionals will be able to set up a digital database that maps out their integrated workflow. This will support a collaborative effort for every team member that wishes to use the full potential of their respective mobile device, once the app is instantly downloaded, to access deeper data insights and improve data management. Strategically, this convenient system not only results in an enhanced quality of deliverables at your fingertips, but also in helping overall cost reduction for projects.

Meanwhile, here is a case study of how our team previously conducted an Arborist's Tree Visual Assessment (more background in the diagram and below) and the kind of benefits it demonstrates include:

  • Less risk of transfer error from paper to desktop (go paperless!)

  • Specify data directly to smartphone/tablet

  • Retrace path or find object using GPS

  • Ability to share data online in realtime

  • Update data back at office desktop as necessary

  • Analyse and generate a report of site information

  • Enable more time for tree inspection on site.

In this car park project, trees were geotagged (using GPS) on the mobile app (using a mobile smartphone or tablet) for inspection. Observations and recommendations were recorded together in the tree biodata on the spot, along with images and video auto-tagged and shared online in real time via cloud server. Although the template was customised for tree inspection by arborists, the pruning team (contractors) can also benefit from having clear tag of location and instruction to carry out tree operations and complete the project in an online record/report.

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