Pandemic Drones Launched to Measure COVID Symptoms and Enforce Safety
Drones specializing in detecting COVID-19 symptoms are now being tested in the United States and other countries. Called “pandemic drones”, they are designed to measure overall body temperature and measure vital signs of a large population from a distance.
The drones are the brainchild of Draganfly Inc., an established drone manufacturing company out of Saskatchewan. The technology’s data collection capability is already being used to keep track of diverse information such as animal extinction numbers and infant health. The pandemic drones will apply the same approach towards collecting information on individuals in a group, such as the distance between them, their posture (to indicate whether someone is coughing), and their core temperature. It can measure both the wellbeing of a population while also serving as a tool to enforce safety protocols. One feature the drones do not have is facial recognition, which may go a long way towards assuaging people’s well-grounded fears of invasion of privacy.
Connecticut hotspot becomes first U.S. municipality to test drone technology to assist first responders in reducing coronavirus spread and mitigate future health emergencies.
Even as scientists and leaders scramble to define what the “new normal” is, Draganfly sees their drones as an integral part of this. According to company CEO Cameron Chell, health reports may soon be as commonplace as weather reports. The company has even ventured into the entertainment industry, developing a system that can check health indicators of film crews and other staff. Chell strongly believes that the future is in health management. It seems that the biggest takeaway from Covid is that what we had previously mundane decisions such as when to plan a trip to an amusement park should now be governed by health instead of pure logistics.
Navigating A Post-Covid World
A focus on data will help drive sound decision-making, which will have a massive impact on whether a country’s economy can safely reopen or if it has to be kept shut down. According to Chell, “The cost of shut down is really quite minor when you think of the cost of what this equipment would be.” For these pandemic drones that were developed as a tool to help the world cope with a devastating pandemic, the benefits may very well outweigh the costs.