Drones could be set to support the UK healthcare industry
With drones increasingly transitioning from military technology to an in-demand, commercial product, local UK authorities have been tasked with sourcing how drones can positively impact everyday civilian life. It echoes Zipline’s work in Africa in the delivery of blood and vital medication to rural areas, and regions of difficult terrain.
The Telegraph has recently reported that healthcare is one area of increased interest for the UK. With growing populations creating increased congestion on roads and public services, there are concerns that life-saving medical supplies could no longer reach destinations in a timely manner, impacting on overall patient care.
Drones could therefore provide a complete solution, by taking to the skies and delivering essential medical supplies to support emergency services going forward.
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However, a new safety bill is thought to be implemented by early 2018 surrounding the ongoing regulation and maintenance surrounding the technology. With over a thousand ‘near misses’ with pilots in the last year, a draft drone bill will give local authorities and public services greater power surrounding the use of drones, and seize any thought to be part of criminal activity.
"Police forces are aware of the ever-increasing use of drones by members of the public and we are working with all relevant partners to understand the threats that this new technology can pose when used irresponsibly or illegally,” explained National Police Chief Council lead for criminal misuse of drones, Assistant Chief Constable Serena Kennedy.
Additionally, users will also have to undertake safety awareness tests to ensure they remain aware of the risks of utilising the technology
NHS care homes are better than private, report finds
A new survey has found that 60% of people with parents in NHS care homes believe the quality of care has improved, compared to just 49% of respondents with parents in private care facilities.
The survey was conducted by Kepler Vision Technologies, an AI-driven company formed at the University of Amsterdam. It was carried out among UK adults with parents over the age of 75.
Respondents cited more capable care staff and better monitoring systems as being the main reasons for improvement.
However those who do not have parents in assisted living facilities had a different viewpoint - in this case only 35% of respondents believe that NHS facilities are improving, compared to 32% who believe it is only improving in the private sector.
Only 18% of people whose parents live with them or independently believe care home staff are able to look after residents to a good standard.
Kepler Vision say this difference in opinion is due to perceived budget cuts and financial pressures, with 67% of people commenting that a lack of funding has had a negative effect on care in both NHS and private care facilities.
Other key findings of the survey include:
* Out of those who say quality has declined in care homes, 69% say the NHS is dealing with budget cuts and increased financial pressure, while 65% also said that the private system is dealing with these pressures too
* 55% said that they or their parent have money saved specifically to pay for their future care
* 35% said the idea of their parent in a care home makes them feel frightened, although 32% say it makes them feel secure
* 52% are worried about their parent catching COVID
* 47% are worried about their parent being lonely
* 46% are concerned they could fall over alone
The announcement of this research follows the UK government's decision to delay presenting its social care budget till the autumn.
Commenting on the research, Dr Harro Stokman, CEO of Kepler Vision Technologies said: “While it is good to see that people recognise the importance of staff and face-to-face interaction in elderly care, the huge gap in opinion between those with parents in care and those without shows that there are unfair negative perceptions around the residential care space.
"More can and should be done by care homes to give people the confidence that their relatives will receive the very best care - by highlighting the excellent work of staff and how well they are able to monitor resident’s needs with easy-to-use technology.”