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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 45  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 396-398
Leveraging unmanned aerial vehicle technology to improve public health practice: Prospects and barriers

1 Department of Community Medicine, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Texas A & M University, Dallas, USA
3 Medical Director, Oscar Health, Dallas, USA
4 Department of Family Medicine, University of Sto. Tomas Hospital, Espana, Manila, Philippines
5 PhD Izmir University of Economics, Faculty of Medicine, Izmir, Turkey
6 Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sudip Bhattacharya
Jolly Grant, Dehradun, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijcm.IJCM_402_19

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Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is increasingly being used in different sectors, including public health. Common applications of UAVs in public health are delivering logistics in remote areas, transporting biomedical samples, providing community-based health care, and public health surveillance. UAVs have contributed to efficient public health ensuring better health services activities at a lower cost. Across diverse health-care settings, UAVs are used to minimize human labor and physical barriers such as distance or hazards associated with different tasks. This technology has shown notable success in advancing public health in resource-constrained countries. In Rwanda, the use of UAVs has resulted in robust logistic support and improved vaccine coverage. Faster transportation and coordination between points of health services have facilitated the overall health service delivery. Despite these advancements, there are several challenges in using UAVs in public health, which include technical difficulties in operating UAVs, maintenance of devices and systems, regulatory challenges, safety concerns, air traffic congestion, and cost of using UAVs. These challenges should be addressed with empirical research and innovative interventions to leverage UAVs in preventing health-care problems and saving lives around the world.

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  2007 - Indian Journal of Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
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