Facebook PixelAI-automated drones to supply essential medications to geographically remote settlements
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AI-automated drones to supply essential medications to geographically remote settlements

Image credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/drone-logistics-drone-package-drone-2816244/

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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagain Apr 28, 2022
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A network of AI-powered drone systems to supply essential medical equipment and medicines to remote areas that are tough to access by other means
Why? According to ourworldindata.org as of 2018. 3.4 billion (out of 7.6) people live in rural areas. Out of those, a large portion lives in geographically remote areas where health facilities are not readily available. The situation is dire in the case of the global south and the developing nations. According to recent peer-reviewed research, 11% of villages in India are without ambulatory and immunization care within a 5 Km radius. For such a populous country, this number is astounding.
Situations can become even worse during seasons of flooding (or other natural calamities). In several mountainous countries like Nepal, the most remote civilizations are far from cities, and if local outbreaks of infectious disease occur in these settlements, it can cause a massive loss of lives before any health intervention can reach these people. In the case of pandemics and epidemics, it is equally cumbersome to access these areas for medical interventions. Take for example the case of Nepali doctors who had to travel for five days on horseback to deliver the COVID vaccines !
But this is not the problem of the poor countries only. Developed countries like Canada also face similar problems, especially during the harsh winter months, as mentioned in this study .
Therefore, an AI-powered drone system can be efficiently used to supply such medical equipment faster and in a much more reliable manner. It makes even more sense in cases of vaccines and similar critical interventions that are prone to degrade upon longer storage.
How does it work?
As mentioned in this idea, this system needs to be aptly coordinated. The delivery drones are monitored constantly by a technical team that operates from centres (or headquarters). A set of individuals are trained beforehand for tracking, communicating and operating these drones both in the target as well as source locations. In case of medical emergencies, the team from the target locations (the remote villages/settlements) sends out a request for the medicine/equipment by using telecommunication to the headquarters with a detailed description of the situation. At the headquarters, the team consults with medical professionals and does an assessment of what equipment and medications to send out. Once that is done, the task is straightforward: load the delivery drones and send them off!
Can you think of any ways how this idea can be made better? Or what technical aspects of the systems should be looked into more closely?

[1]https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0239326

[2]https://www.gavi.org/vaccineswork/travelling-horseback-through-himalayas-getting-vaccines-people-nepal

[3]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4623283/

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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
This is already being done:

Even software without AI is good enough for autonomous drone flights
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Subash Chapagain
Subash Chapagaina month ago
Darko Savic Thanks for sharing this. I was unaware. I was particularly thinking about the problems in my own home country while creating the idea.
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