Federal Aviation Administration – In 2016, Zipline began using drones to deliver emergency medical supplies to countries in Africa to help improve health outcomes.
Rwanda has a maternal death rate 20 times that of the United States. The availability of blood to prevent fatal hemorrhage is crucial yet sparse in Rwanda. Zipline’s quick delivery of blood via drone is attempting to reduce this statistic.
So, why isn't this available in the US?
The approval process to fly a drone long distances is a lengthy one, not ideal for health related situations. Last week, it was announced that the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is working towards approval of UAS flight plans across the United States.
Over the next couple months, beta testing hopes to speed up this process and make immediate medical deliveries a reality in the United States.
What else can drones do?
More recently, utilizing drones for emergent lab work is also being considered. Rural communities often lack sufficient resources, and frequently have to send labs offsite via car (or even boat) to facilities with the necessary means. This takes hours, sometimes even days, which can delay a life-threatening diagnosis, and drones could change that.
Harvard Business Review – You’ve probably heard of them and/or interacted with them by now. Smart speakers such as Siri and Alexa have found their way into homes, cars, phones, etc. By 2022, studies suggest smart speakers will be in 55% of US homes. What’s next for these technologies? Hospitals…
Many physicians already use some form of voice recognition software themselves, recording notes and patient information. But the buck doesn’t stop there. Many have stated their willingness to use them interactively in patient care.
Methods of Use
Nurses, doctors, patients and concerned parents can all benefit from using smart speakers in the near future. Questions that are normally answered over the phone could be expedited.
How many beds are available on the fourth floor? Who is a reliable _____ specialist? What do I do if my child has a rash? These are all questions that could be answered quickly and efficiently.
What's the hold up?
There's still a couple bugs to work out. The technology is not yet HIPAA protected, and secure information could be leaked. Wifi and communication in crowded, noisy rooms could be difficult. Some docs are concerned discord between themselves and "speakers" could be an issue.
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Daylight Saving Time, Not so life saving
American Academy of Neurology–This past Sunday, we all lost some sleep after springing forward an hour. This was a minor change but a study in 2016 shows that this can have a significant impact on your health.
The two days following the time change showed an 8% higher rate of stroke. A breakdown of this showed that cancer victims are 25% more likely and people older than 65 are 20% more likely to have a stroke.
Why is this Happening?
The risks increase due to the time change and its disruption of our circadian rhythm. The risks decline a few days later as our bodies adapt to the time change. The stroke risks have been highest in the morning hours.
Psychologists also believe that people might have a hard time coping with the time difference. Experts suggest doing physical activities during the day to help you get to bed early.
History of DST
Daylight Saving Time was first used in Canada in 1908. The Germans popularized the concept during WWII by turning the time an hour ahead to decrease the use of artificial lighting. The inventors of DST were a New Zealand scientist George Hudson and British builder William Willett. DST is now used in over 70 countries.