Drones to deliver drugs, food to homes soon

5 Min Read

Dr. Anthony Nsia Asare, the Presidential Advisor on Health, has indicated that Ghana will soon begin deploying drones to deliver drugs, food, and other items to people’s homes.

This would bridge the gap in telemedicine in Ghana.

“You can even order food from the restaurant, you give them the GPS, they will survey the place through it, and they will come and deliver whatever you ordered hanged by a string then the drone goes back to base.

“That is the future of medical distribution, especially drugs and prescriptions by Zipline in this way we can use it in the urban areas to serve people with their drugs.

“So, you do teleconsultation, your physician gives you a prescription, you pay it by POS system and within a matter of 10 minutes it will be delivered,” he said.

Dr Nsia Asare disclosed this at the sixth West Africa Taiwan Health Promotion Conference organised by the Accra College of Medicine (ACM) in Accra.

He said the Government was collaborating with Zipline Ghana to get the system going.

The two-day scientific conference is on the theme “Smart Medicine and Medical Education.”

It would enable Ghanaian medical professionals and experts from Taiwan to share knowledge to improve healthcare delivery in the country.

Dr. Nsia Asare emphasized how the construction of drone centers across the country has and is improving healthcare delivery, notably during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He provided examples of how drones were effectively employed to send examination questions to remote locations for the 2023 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), resulting in the test commencing on time across the country for the first time.

Dr Nsia Asare stated that Ghana had taken the lead in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the delivery of medical and non-medical commodities, saying, “we are the largest drone distribution center for supply chain systems in the world.”

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a wide-ranging branch of computer science concerned with building smart machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence.

Ghana had six distribution centers covering 13 of the 16 regions when it began in 2016, with plans to open two more to cover other areas of the country.

“So that is the future in the supply chain system and the use of drones in the medical transformation the country wants to do. Ghana is going digital, we are doing digital economy, and the healthcare system has not been left out,” Dr Nsia Asare said.

Professor Afua Hesse, the President Accra College of Medicine, said the West Africa Taiwan Health Promotion conference, held every two years, was part of the ACM’s long-standing cooperation with Taiwan.

She explained that the meeting allows Ghanaian medical practitioners to express the West African perspective, while the Taiwanese medical team provides modern health expertise.

Prof Hesse said technology had advanced to the point where the country needs to leverage for its development.

“So, the idea was to look at smart medicine and how AI has altered the way medicine is delivered as well as the challenges that it brings and the way forward,” she stated.

The President of ACM stressed the need to educate students on the potential of AI in health care.

Dr Yaw Ofori-Adjei, the Technical Director Fairgreen Limited, said AI had become part of everyday life and required a deliberate effort from all levels of leadership to drive its meaningful use.

He called for a national strategy and policy guide to mainstream AI in health delivery.

Dr Wang Shao Chuan, a Urologist from Taiwan who spoke on the topic “Smart and Innovation Medicine in Urology, explained how AI had been used to manage prostate cancer in his country.

He emphasized how smart AI applications had aided them in medical decision-making, enhanced doctor-patient relationships, streamlined administrative processes, optimized service processes, and improved operational efficiency.

Share this Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *