Bridging the Distance
Testing Flying Drones to Pave the Way to Accessible Medical Services in Remote, Rural Areas
Drive across West Texas and one might think the roads go on forever. Eventually, after cutting through breathtaking views of desert mountains and canyons and taking several turns, the road ends at one of the oldest communities in the United States − Presidio, Texas. The community also is one of the most remote places in the country, which is perfect for peace and quiet and stargazing, but challenging in the best of circumstances for accessing health care services, which can be devastating in the case of a medical emergency.
“We’re at the southern terminus of US 67, a very isolated community of about 5,000 to 6,000 residents with very limited access to health care services,” Adrian Billings, M.D., Ph.D., Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine associate academic dean of rural and community engagement, said. “From Presidio, residents are 90 miles away to the nearest emergency room in the United States and two miles to the Mexican health care system, which has a lot more health care resources to offer than on this side of the Rio Grande. We are literally at the end of the road.”
Preventative Care Health Services Clinic Photos
Swoop Aero Drone Demo Photos