Using drone technology to transport drugs, blood across Sri Lanka

20 June 2019 - 182   - 2

When fatalities occur in parts of the country and things like surgical instruments, drugs and particularly blood are needed extra-urgently, if they cannot be supplied in the quickest possible time, it could result in death.

Dr. Vijith Gunasekera, former Director of Blood Transfusion Services/Director, Laboratory Services, participating in a ‘round-table video conference for media held in the Parkland Building, Colombo on Wednesday, and speaking on ‘Challenges and Opportunities in Healthcare logistics in Sri Lanka’, made this observation. 

Dr. Gunasekera an expert on a number of fields related to health, including Health Technology Assessment and Disaster Management is now in London, currently a Visiting Academic/Research Fellow at Warwick Evidence, Department of Health Economics, University of Warwick.

He said that the prompt supply of such essential needs could be provided, if modern technology could be appropriately employed which could save time and money as well as curtail wastage, while most essentially save invaluable lives. 

In the case of Sri Lanka, for example he said that in the supply of blood there are 110 blood banks around the country and these blood banks have to be maintained with medical professionals, doctors and nurses while blood has to be transported by road which takes a lot of time.

Giving an example of what is happening elsewhere in the world he said in Rwanda and Ghana the transfer of blood to various parts of the country are carried by ‘drones’, the best way of employing the modern technology – the benefits of what he called ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’.

He said: “Healthcare technologies are evolving and ever advancing and no country can evade such an advancement and rapid progression of the healthcare industry. People will be demanding cutting edge health technologies. It is the responsibility of the policy makers to invest on right technology at the right time that would bring about most benefits to the people through evidence synthesises through a process of Health Technology Assessment”.

He said that this technology if properly focused could be used to supply the urgent needs of urgent drugs and even some sophisticated surgical instruments employing the ‘drone technology’.  He said that in Sri Lanka there are so many emergency situations where accessibility is barred, such as floods where those areas cannot be reached by road.  A good example in Sri Lanka was the tsunami in 2004 where accessibility was prevented. (QP)

  Comments - 2

  • manu Friday, 21 June 2019 09:41 AM

    drones can be used to carry and drop bombs also then by the extremists. Then they don't waste a human life also as a suicide bomber. So not possible in sri lanka.

    Reply : 2       0

    Jasmine Friday, 21 June 2019 11:18 AM

    not if its regularized and monitored. This is our typical reaction to anything now. How do we progress as a nation this way. if so even your mobile phone can be used as a terrorism mechanism, the comments one makes in a public platform could be a message that spreads evil. So let's not jump to conclusions

    Reply : 0       0

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