Medical Tech

Stony Brook University ships medical samples via drones in Madagascar

The unique ability of Vayu’s drone to take off and land like a helicopter and fly long distances could help innumerable vulnerable remote communities get the medical care they deserve, says Stony Brook University Hospital. (image courtesy Stony Brook University Hospital)

The unique ability of Vayu’s drone to take off and land like a helicopter and fly long distances could help innumerable vulnerable remote communities get the medical care they deserve, says Stony Brook University Hospital. (image courtesy Stony Brook University Hospital)

A suburban New York university is using emerging drone technology to improve the health care of people in remote parts of Madagascar.

Stony Brook University health workers have been in the island nation in the Indian Ocean off eastern Africa for nearly three decades.

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Now they've teamed with a Michigan startup company called Vayu , Inc., to transport medical samples by drone for laboratory analysis. Samples are taken from patients in remote villages and flown to a clinic in as little as two hours.

The first successful test using drones that take off and land like helicopters happened in late July.

University officials say they're using the drones to help diagnosis ailments like tapeworm disease.

Ultimately, the plan is to deliver medications to patients in a timely manner.