Top scientific studies on drone use in healthcare applications


Plenty of scientific studies prove the potential benefits of drones in healthcare and health-related services. The most frequently discussed benefit of drones is their ability to improve the response time of emergency services and to deliver medical supplies and treatments (e.g., gauze, testing kits, and medications) due to their ability to fly above roadways, water, and forested areas, and to quickly reach upper levels of high-rise buildings.

The second most discussed benefit is the ability of drones to improve access to health services in difficult to reach areas with a specific focus on how they can alleviate health service access issues in rural communities.

The third benefit is the potential for improved clinical outcomes (e.g., survival following cardiac arrest and major traumatic injuries) often associated with the ability of drones to improve response times for emergency services. Drones can transport biological samples (e.g., blood, plasma, organs, and other tissues) to facilitate search and rescue operations for emergency service delivery to support first responder safety, and for remote medical support.

This post will present some of the top scientific studies conducted on drone use in healthcare applications, especially in North America, which includes vast regions of Canada, the United States, and Mexico that are primarily rural, distances between major urban centres.

  • Time series UAV image-based point clouds for landslide progression evaluation applications (2017)
  • Exploring the use of a drone to guide a blind runner (2016)
  • Can unmanned aerial systems (Drones) be used for the routine transport of chemistry, hematology, and coagulation laboratory specimens? (2015)
  • Drone transport of microbes in blood and sputum laboratory specimens. (2016)
  • Drone Transport of Chemistry and Hematology Samples over Long Distances. (2017)
  • Drones in medicine—the rise of the machines (2017)
  • The case for drone-assisted emergency response to cardiac arrest (2019)
  • Optimizing a Drone Network to Deliver Automated External Defibrillators. (2017)
  • The promising future of drones in prehospital medical care and its application to battlefield medicine (2019)
  • Assessing and reinitializing wildland fire simulations through satellite active fire data. (2018)
  • The use of unmanned aerial vehicles for health purposes: a systematic review of experimental studies. (2018)
  • What role can unmanned aerial vehicles play in emergency response in the Arctic: A case study from Canada. (2018)
  • Natural disasters: Drone spy plane helps fight California fires. (2007)
  • An interconnected architecture for an emergency medical response unmanned aerial system. (2017)
  • Fast and safe gas detection from underground coal fire by drone fly over. (2017)
  • Organ delivery by 1000 drones. (2016)
  • Blood-delivering drones saving lives in Africa and maybe soon in Canada. (2018)
  • Identification of swimmers in distress using unmanned aerial vehicles: Experience at the Mont-Tremblant IRONMAN triathlon (2020)
  • Comparison of unmanned aerial vehicle technology-assisted triage versus standard practice in triaging casualties by paramedic students in a mass-casualty incident scenario. (2018)
  • Comparison of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Technology Versus Standard Practice in Identification of Hazards at a Mass Casualty Incident Scenario by Primary Care Paramedic Students. (2018)
  • A model for safe transport of critical patients in unmanned drones with a ‘watch’ style continuous anesthesia sensor. (2018)
  • Drone-Aided Healthcare Services for Patients with Chronic Diseases in Rural Areas. (2017)
  • Focus on: Drone applications in health care (2018)
  • Drone delivery of Medications: Review of the landscape and legal considerations. (2018)
  • Drone-Based Automatic External Defibrillators for Sudden Death?: Do We Need More Courage or More Serenity? (2017)
  • An initial investigation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and real-time organ status measurement for transporting human organs. (2018)
  • The final frontier? Exploring organ transportation by drone. (2019)
  • First Report of Using Portable Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones) for Search and Rescue. (2017)
  • Delivery of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) by Drones: Implications for Emergency Cardiac Care. (2018)