Drones wing their way into healthcare's future

Will drones become an everyday tool used to help the elderly care for themselves? Naira Hovakimyan, a roboticist at the University of Illinois, thinks so.

In fact, Hovakimyan was recently granted $1.5 million by the National Science Foundation to create drones that could perform small household chores, according to a report from the New York Times.

Such devices could bring medicine to patients, help people do things around the house that their health would make difficult and more, according to Hovakimyan.

Drones are already show potential for use in some healthcare situations. For example, in June an annual remote clinic held in Virginia received medical supplies via drone. Patients who normally have to wait days to get their prescriptions received them much more quickly, FierceHealthIT reported.

Drones aren't the only robotic technology influencing care. Tandy Trower, a former Microsoft software designer, is working on a robot that can serve as a mobile companion, as well as monitor its owner's health and keep track of medicine intake, according to the NYT article.

And NASA has a humanoid robot aboard the International Space Station that might one day help the agency by performing medical tasks in space--guided by human hands on Earth.

Innovations such as these hold value, especially as the Baby Boomer generation grows older and needs much more care.

To learn more:
- here's the NYT article