Drones providing health care needs to rural communities

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center plans to use drones to enhance healthcare access in remote areas of West Texas. (Courtesy Photo)

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) and 2THEDGE will host the Matador UAS Consortium Executive Demo Day to showcase drone technology that aims to enhance access to health care in remote areas of West Texas.

Matador UAS Executive Demo Day Presentations will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13. There will be a drone flight demo and media Q&A at 11:30 a.m. The event will be at the TTUHSC Academic Classroom Building, 801 W. Fourth St.

Experts will demonstrate what drones are capable of in terms of cargo-carrying capacity, flight maneuverability.

Presentation speakers will include Phil Sizer, Ph.D., TTUHSC assistant vice president of research and innovation (“What is the Matador UAS Consortium”); Timothy Benton, M.D., TTUHSC regional dean (“Rural Community Health Needs”); Ty Harmon, 2THEDGE CEO, Catherine Self, 2THEDGE vice president (“Consortium December Events Overview”); Craig Arnold, Swoop Aero chief operating officer (“Real-world Experience Seen in Africa”).

Courtesy Photo

Drones can pick up blood samples from outlying clinics that can aid in diagnoses.

Currently, a Quest Laboratory driver leaves El Paso every morning and drives to clinics in Marfa, Presidio and Alpine to pick up lab samples. The samples are taken to the El Paso airport to fly to the central lab facility in Dallas where the blood samples are tested. Drones would replace the long and dangerous drive down remote highways at a more cost efficient and safer manner to deliver the blood products back to a laboratory facility. Drone technology will improve access to care by delivering medicines, vaccines, durable medical equipment and blood products that will improve and save lives.