Drones Course Ignites Participant’s Passion for Global Health

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During summer 2021, the USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health offered “Using Drones to Prevent Pandemics and Epidemics,” an online short course in collaboration with GLOBHE. The course serves as an introduction to the topic and is intended for individuals and agencies interested in how drones can improve prevention strategies and operations in global health. 

This online short course provided an overview of how drones are being used in public health, with a focus on environmental monitoring and data collection to prevent future pandemics and epidemics. Learners were challenged to consider how drones reduce and/or exacerbate inequalities in global health.

Nicole Palermo, a recent USC graduate and Health Consulting Analyst, participated in this year’s course. “I chose to take this course to reignite my passion for Global Health and to explore the evolution of the Global Health field after COVID-19,” Palermo shared about her interest in the course.

The use of drones (or UAVs) in the public health context is relatively new but has been growing significantly over the past few years. Drones are being used globally to solve some of the most common health logistics challenges by circumventing problematic infrastructures on the ground, speeding up delivery processes, and making supply chains more responsive. In addition, drones are being used to provide real time-imaging, collect data and map large areas quickly.

Nicole Palermo, MPH

“By taking this course I was reminded of my passion and love for the field of Global Health and in achieving health equity,” shared Palermo. “One key takeaway message I gained from participating in this course is that the field of Global Health is constantly changing due to the influence of technology. I find this evolution inspiring and exciting because it demonstrates the monumental change in this field in a short period of time, as well as emphasizes the need for innovation in Global Health to further help individuals achieve health equity across the world.”

The four-week course was taught by Dr. Shubha Kumar, USC IIGH Director of Education, and Helena Samsioe, the CEO and Founder of GLOBHE, a global drone service company on a mission to create a better future with drones through the world’s first Crowddroning Platform.

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