A UBC partnership that uses drones to deliver medical supplies could make health care more accessible to isolated communities across Canada
Imagine you’re in a life-threatening car accident in a rural community. You need blood, but the community has none. It’s cut off from additional medical help by a mountain range, forest or body of water.
“For generations, we’ve had a medical system where we tend to move patients to resources, as opposed to resources to patients,” says Dr. John Pawlovich, a family doctor who is the Rural Doctors’ UBC Chair on Rural Health. If you need blood, you have to travel to a larger community. “It’s the same problem around rural Canada and around the world—resources that patients need are either in short supply or they don’t exist in rural, remote or Indigenous communities.”
That’s why Dr. Pawlovich and his team at the University of British Columbia see such potential for drone technology in health care. They’re working closely with the Stellat’en First Nation and the Village of Fraser Lake, located west of Prince George in northern BC, to test drones as a means of delivering medical supplies to isolated communities.
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Through Strategy 16: Public Relevance, UBC is working to align our efforts more closely with priority issues in British Columbia and beyond, through dialogue and knowledge exchange.