Sunday, September 12, 2021

'Medicines from the Sky' takes wing in Telangana, Scindia says will scale up project nationwide

Hyderabad: The Telangana government on Saturday launched the ‘Medicines from the Sky’ project under which drugs and vaccines will be delivered using drones, a first of its kind initiative in all of Asia.

Union Civil Aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and state ITE&C, I&C, and MAUD minister KT Rama Rao and other dignitaries were present at the project launch.

“The ministry’s new drone rules have unlocked the drone industry and the innovation therein on the principles of trust, self-certification, and non-intrusive monitoring. Drones is a frontier technology that can be used to access the otherwise inaccessible areas, and thus allow equitable access to basic services like healthcare for even the farthest and remotest of areas. India is all set to become the drone hub of the world by 2030, and the potential of our innovators is only infinite,” said Civil Aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Scindia said the Medicines from the Sky project, developed in partnership with World Economic Forum, Niti Aayog, and HealthNet Global, will be taken up on a pilot basis in 16 green zones in Telangana and scaled up to the national level based on data.

“Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted that the healthcare supply chains can be further strengthened, and drones offers a robust value proposition esp. when it comes to remote areas and emergencies. The Medicine from the Sky is the first of its kind initiative in the country to generate insights that shall benefit the entire ecosystem. The enthusiasm and support by all the partners are deeply appreciated," said minister K T Rama Rao at the launch.

The launch will be followed by about a month of continuous trials by the eight selected consortiums, that have been batched into two per week on a lottery basis, will conduct BVLOS trials and collect the data from each flight in a carefully crafted drone demo report covering all parameters.

The trials are focused on laying the groundwork for laying the drone delivery network that will improve access to vital health care supplies for remote and vulnerable communities.

The insights from these trials shall be used to drive adoption strategy for the state, and also publish reports that highlight Telangana’s experience and how the same can be leveraged by all states across India.

The project has eight participating consortiums comprising of drone operators, experts in healthcare and airspace management among others, that shall demonstrate short and long-range drone-based deliveries to assess the efficacy of low altitude aerial logistics in healthcare.

12/09/21 Ashish Pandey/India Today

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