USES OF DRONE & UAV TECHNOLOGY IN ACCESSING HEALTHCARE: THE CASE OF MADAGASCAR
by Jeffrey Li
Abstract – In the field of health logistics, drone technology has increasingly become used in delivering medical materials including blood bags, plasma, and critical pharmatheutical products to save patient lives. Among countries where existing transportation infrastructure is insufficient for the needs of hospitals and other healthcare actors, drone delivery can provide a swift and reliable solution in situations where time is of the essence. However, the present literature regarding the feasibility of UAS-supplemented healthcare logistics programs in specific nations is limited, and often restricted to wealthy and developed nations. Through a qualitative thematic analysis of factors including geography, drone capabilities, transportation regulations, and government financing, this paper finds implementing a wide-spread UAS-supplemented healthcare logistics program in Madagascar at present to be extremely difficult, largely due to stringent regulations and limited government funding. Despite these challenges, future implementation is not impossible, as some steps can be taken towards resolving them, given that government interest in the uses of drone technology grows overtime.