Forbes: UC telehealth drone can make house calls

A multidisciplinary team of researchers is engineering new technology

Telehealth medicine has become increasingly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic as doctors and patients turned to virtual appointments as a means to communicate more safely.

Forbes highlighted research by a multidisciplinary team of inventors at the University of Cincinnati that is aiming to improve the technology to make these virtual interactions more meaningful.

Inventors Victoria Wangia-Anderson, Manish Kumar, Seung-Yeon Lee and Debi Sampsel from three colleges at UC collaborated to develop a semi-autonomous drone that can be dispatched to people’s homes. The drones are big enough to carry medicine or medical supplies but small enough to maneuver the tight confines of a home using navigational algorithms developed by UC engineers.

Still in development, the drone has cameras and a display screen so patients can talk to health care professionals from the comfort of their home. The prototype carries a waterproof box the size of a small first-aid kit to deliver medical supplies or collect self-administered lab tests.

The researchers in UC’s College of Nursing, College of Allied Health Sciences and College of Engineering and Applied Science secured a UC Office of Research grant to develop a prototype to test the feasibility of dispatching a telehealth care delivery drone to a patient's home to provide health assessments or medical interventions.

Read the Forbes article.

Featured image at top: Seung-Yeon Lee, an associate professor of nutrition sciences in UC's College of Allied Health Sciences, sits across from a telehealth drone that allows patients to talk face-to-face to health care professionals from the comfort of their home. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative + Brand

A drone.

UC's prototype telehealth drone. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative + Brand