Successful drone delivery trial for Indian Institute

Having made significant progress into the usefulness of drone technology in the agricultural industry, it seems the next target for India is medical delivery.

And on that front, the All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bhubaneswar in the eastern state of Odisha has announced the successful completion trials for medical delivery by drone.

According to reports from India, the 12kg drone was carrying 2kg of essential blood supplies when it completed its journey of from the AIIMS campus to Tangi Community Health Centre in 35 minutes without encountering any operational issues.

The drone was delivering blood for a pregnant woman suffering from anaemia at the centre, which is located in Khurda district 70km away.

“It’s the commitment of the national institute to develop a model to integrate the technology into the healthcare system as a supplement to existing logistics methods and suggest ways for the long-term sustainability of drone-based delivery of medical supplies,” said AIIMS executive director Dr Ashutosh Biswa, who led the team that carried out the trials.

“Induction of drone delivery can boost the healthcare services in rural, tribal, and semi-urban locations. These drones can carry multiple health products including vaccines, essential drugs and diagnostic samples. AIIMS Bhubaneswar, as a leading tertiary healthcare provider has created this opportunity for the people of Odisha.”

Not much more information was provided about the specifications of the drone that did the deed; other than it can carry medical payloads weighing up to five kilograms; can reach speeds of 90kilometres per hour; and images and video evidence have shown the unmanned aerial vehicle to be of the vertical take-off and landing type that runs on both fixed wings and rotors.

Once deployed, it will play a pivotal role during natural disasters, overcome geographical barriers and ensure timely delivery of critical medical supplies to remote areas of the state.

“Induction of drone delivery can boost the healthcare services in rural, tribal, and semi-urban locations,” Dr Biswas added.

“The successful trial will pave the way for the long-term sustainability of drone-based delivery of medical supplies.”

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