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house Bill H.R. 7395

Should Drones Be Used to Deliver Medical Supplies?

Argument in favor

Using drones for medical supply delivery would make it easier to deliver medical supplies to remote areas, emergency sites, or disaster-stricken areas that are cut off from roads. This could save lives and improve medical care.

SneakyPete's Opinion
路路路
01/01/2019
H.R. 7395 - (Use Of Drones To Deliver Medical 馃彞 Supplies) I鈥檇 recommend and support the use of drones 馃殎 for medical supply delivery, which would make it easier for the delivery of medical supplies to remote areas, emergency sites, or disaster-stricken areas that are cut off from roads. This would contribute to saving lives and improve medical care to the sick and injured 馃. SneakyPete..... 馃憤馃徎馃憦馃徎馃憤馃徎馃憦馃徎馃憤馃徎. 1*1*19.....
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operaman's Opinion
路路路
01/01/2019
Sounds like a cost-effective tool as long as we are not discussing cannabis. However, the size must be a factor. A small personal drone may not have the lift capacity. Delivering a pizza to my phone鈥檚 location would be very handy, but I digress.
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Anna's Opinion
路路路
01/01/2019
This is one of the few good uses I鈥檝e heard of for drones.
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Argument opposed

U.S. airspace is already crowded, and allowing the use of drones use to deliver medical supplies 鈥 particularly non-urgent supplies 鈥 could needlessly add to congestion. It鈥檇 be better to wait for the FAA to rule on the use of medical drones.

Cassandra's Opinion
路路路
01/01/2019
I agree with using drones . If they are used to kill people they might as well be used to save people. However I don't agree with keeping the FAA out of the loop. They are responsible for keeping planes in the air safe.
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Chickie's Opinion
路路路
01/02/2019
There鈥檚 a lot of positives with the use of drones for medical assistance, especially in the cases involving delivering during earthquakes, hurricanes and other forces of nature or disasters. However, other than clogging air travel, the negatives with drone uses must be considered and thoroughly studied. Drones carrying opioid medications or medications that could be misused is just one obvious consideration.
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Linda's Opinion
路路路
01/01/2019
This is one area that needs to be continued to be handled by humans themselves. The airspace is only a part of the problem. There are couple of other problems that I can foresee. First, hospitals get shipments of some extremely powerful drugs and medications. These products do not need to fall into the wrong hands should an error with the drone occur. For shipments being delivered to private addresses, I feel as if HIPPA could be affected. Not only that, some drugs and medications are temperature sensitive. A drone is not going to check to see if it was delivered to the correct address (for HIPPA PRIVACY) or if there is even anybody home to receive the shipment. (For temperature controlled, the possibility of needing a signature upon receipt, or HIPPA). Drones cannot check if they are delivering to right address or if there is even someone at the programmed address to sign for the package should that be necessary.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
    IntroducedDecember 21st, 2018

What is House Bill H.R. 7395?

This bill would direct the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary to allow the use of drones to deliver medical supplies to hospitals, ambulances, or sites of medical emergencies. This would allow the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Indian Health Service (IHS) to reimburse hospitals or other medical providers for the use of drones for medical supply delivery.

The bill would also prohibit the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from issuing rules banning drones鈥 use to deliver medical supplies.

Impact

Drones; hospitals; medical providers; ambulances; sites of medical emergencies; CMS; IHS; FAA; and the HHS Secretary.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 7395

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) introduced this bill to allow drones鈥 use for medical supply delivery. John Walker, an aerospace consultant who spent 32 years at the FAA, believes early acceptance of drone delivery networks in urban areas will revolve around hospitals, with drones being used to safely and reliably carry blood and medical supplies.

Andrew Schroeder, director of research and analysis at humanitarian aid organization Direct Relief, says he expects drones will be used to get medicine to remote locations that are otherwise only reachable by helicopter, or that are cut off due to natural disasters:

鈥淎s drone technology and systems for managing them improve, we expect them to save lives in places where disasters have cut off access to critically needed healthcare.鈥

Zipline, a California-based medical drone startup, has already successfully deployed its drones in Rwanda and Tanzania. Its founder and chief engineer, Keenan Wyrobek, believes his company鈥檚 technology will eventually be deployed in the U.S., as well. Being aerial, Zipline鈥檚 drones are able to deliver medical supplies to flooded areas, islands, and other places that cars 鈥 currently the main transportation method for medical supplies 鈥 can鈥檛 reach.

In October 2017, the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) invited state and local governments to partner with universities and companies on tests to speed drones鈥 integration into U.S. airspace. The proposals included a range of health-related applications.


Of NoteDrones have been successfully used to carry blood, medical supplies, and medical supplies in other countries, including Rwanda, Tanzania, Switzerland, and Ghana. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has also begun testing drones鈥 use for emergency medical supply delivery. Beginning in 2019, the UK will also be testing new civilian uses of drones, potentially including medical supply delivery, in five towns and cities.

The FAA has been cautious about approving drone operations in the U.S. due to concerns about overcrowding already-congested airspace. Susan Roberts, co-founder of AiRXOS, a GE subsidiary focused on drone infrastructure technologies, observes that the FAA seems to be interested in building an integrated approach to drones鈥 use in the U.S., ensuring that operations are scalable once deployed.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / PeterTG)

Official Title

To direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to allow delivery of medical supplies by unmanned aerial systems, and for other purposes.

    H.R. 7395 - (Use Of Drones To Deliver Medical 馃彞 Supplies) I鈥檇 recommend and support the use of drones 馃殎 for medical supply delivery, which would make it easier for the delivery of medical supplies to remote areas, emergency sites, or disaster-stricken areas that are cut off from roads. This would contribute to saving lives and improve medical care to the sick and injured 馃. SneakyPete..... 馃憤馃徎馃憦馃徎馃憤馃徎馃憦馃徎馃憤馃徎. 1*1*19.....
    Like (54)
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    I agree with using drones . If they are used to kill people they might as well be used to save people. However I don't agree with keeping the FAA out of the loop. They are responsible for keeping planes in the air safe.
    Like (68)
    Follow
    Share
    There鈥檚 a lot of positives with the use of drones for medical assistance, especially in the cases involving delivering during earthquakes, hurricanes and other forces of nature or disasters. However, other than clogging air travel, the negatives with drone uses must be considered and thoroughly studied. Drones carrying opioid medications or medications that could be misused is just one obvious consideration.
    Like (31)
    Follow
    Share
    This is one area that needs to be continued to be handled by humans themselves. The airspace is only a part of the problem. There are couple of other problems that I can foresee. First, hospitals get shipments of some extremely powerful drugs and medications. These products do not need to fall into the wrong hands should an error with the drone occur. For shipments being delivered to private addresses, I feel as if HIPPA could be affected. Not only that, some drugs and medications are temperature sensitive. A drone is not going to check to see if it was delivered to the correct address (for HIPPA PRIVACY) or if there is even anybody home to receive the shipment. (For temperature controlled, the possibility of needing a signature upon receipt, or HIPPA). Drones cannot check if they are delivering to right address or if there is even someone at the programmed address to sign for the package should that be necessary.
    Like (25)
    Follow
    Share
    Sounds like a cost-effective tool as long as we are not discussing cannabis. However, the size must be a factor. A small personal drone may not have the lift capacity. Delivering a pizza to my phone鈥檚 location would be very handy, but I digress.
    Like (21)
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    This is one of the few good uses I鈥檝e heard of for drones.
    Like (16)
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    Let it be well defined that these drones will be utilized for this purpose alone; and not to gather more data on us.
    Like (12)
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    There are countless regulations, laws governing medical supplies etc. This is a slippery slope; privacy Hippa laws. You must have a living breathing person delivering these ensuring they reach the correct destination and or person. The technology is still so new, maybe in the future it will be viable but not now. #MAGA
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    Only if it lowers the price of healthcare.
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    There are times when someone is unable to go out for their meds or live in remote areas where driving conditions prevent access until conditions change
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    If drones are used for only emergency and isolated location in a Disaster, where access is limited, searching for people and damage, and giving helpful information, I have no problem as lone it is control as part of the emergency response. If it for Delivering goods and products, I do have a problem with it.
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    This has nothing to do with airspace. This is giving the medical industry another billable tool to generate revenue. This bill has nothing to do with anything other than profit.
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    Oh, how interesting! If the need is there and it鈥檚 workable, why not? It appears they are already using drones in parts of Africa to great success. I鈥檝e heard that Amazon is considering the use of drones in delivering packages, too. Technology, eh?
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    It should be easy for the FAA to integrate drones into airspace. Drones should fly at a low altitude that normal aircraft don鈥檛 fly...and they should avoid airspace around airports where aircraft are passing through low altitudes for take off鈥檚 and landings.
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    My concerns with this bill are as follows: 1. It does not seem to take into account airspace restrictions related to emergency flight operations (ie fire fighting flights, or emergency Helicopter operations) 2. It seems to allow none critical supplies to be carried (increased congestion). 3. It ties the hands of the FAA in fitting the future of drones within the National airspace system yet the bill is too vague- and leaves the door for the select few to have their way without FAA oversight. I do support the intent though and can see a huge advantage in rural areas, but the way it鈥檚 presented now has too many issues.
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    Using drones for medical supply delivery would make it easier to deliver medical supplies to remote areas, emergency sites, or disaster-stricken areas that are cut off from roads. This could save lives and improve medical care.
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    Allow the FAA to explain how they would need to regulate this aircraft. At present the FAA is in need of serious upgrades to their network. Throwing more unmanned aircraft into the air pattern without integrating them into their network would only hamper an already heavily tasked system.
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    I鈥檓 not sure why we aren鈥檛 using them in the field already for emergency situations.
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    As with any law, this one will have unintended consequences but the overall bill is valid. Once passed, the FAA will have to ensure that VFR/IFR rules are in place and the use should be limited to supplies needed in emergency or to remote areas. If Amazon can deliver toys using drones, this should be a no brainer.
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    They would get shot down
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