drones to do Covid-19 testing
(Photo: Courtesy of Remote Detection System)

According to Claudia Sheinbaum, head of the Mexico City Government, more than 100,000 Covid-19 tests were carried out in hospital centers in this city from the start of the pandemic until the end of June.

Given the saturation in laboratories and hospitals, Gabriel Arias Mercado, an Industrial Design student at the Mexico City Campus of Tec de Monterrey, came up with the Remote Detection System project. This system proposes using drones to send the tests remotely and avoid the spread of infection.

“I wanted to solve the problem of how to do the test safely by avoiding the spread of infection both for the person doing the test and for those who may come into contact with the sample during transfer. This reduces centers of infection and the workload in hospitals,” Arias said in an interview with Tec Review.

Gabriel states that the service could be ordered through a platform similar to private shipping and transportation services such as Uber. The drone would arrive at the site and on-screen instructions will show the user how to carry out and deposit the test.

For the design student, this project could revolutionize the industry by transforming the way different medical tests are conducted in the future.

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The next steps

Arias is looking for partners. The entrepreneur wants them to help him get medical validation from hospitals and laboratories and technological support for adapting the drones. The initial market contemplated for testing is Mexico City.

“We have an idea of what the drone would be like, in terms of the range, camera, and screen it would need to show the instructions. Once the test is done, it will be deposited back into the drone, the results will be evaluated in the laboratory, and these can be consulted on the same platform,” says the student.

The project was carried out as part of an International Design class in which Ramiro Estrada, Dean of the School of Architecture, Art and Design, proposed that the students make submissions to the Global Grad Show, which focuses on innovators. The requirements were for projects that solved issues related to Covid-19, in order to improve treatment for infected people and life in quarantine.

With his proposal, Gabriel Arias managed to secure a place within the top 30 projects worldwide at the Global Grad Show.




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