As part of the “Medicine from the Sky” initiative launched by the Telangana government, drones will be used to deliver medicines and vaccines to remote areas.
Telangana became the first state to pilot the delivery of drugs by drone. (Credit: India Today)
The Telangana government launched the “Medicine from the Sky” initiative in partnership with the World Economic Forum, Niti Aayog and HealthNet Global.
As part of this project, Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flights will be used for vaccine and drug delivery using the identified airspace of Vikarabad district.
“Thanks to Medicine From The Sky, Telangana has become the first state to pilot the drone delivery beyond the visual range of sight of vaccines and essentials,” said Minister of Information Technology KT Rama Rao .
Read | Swab stick breaks and gets stuck in the throat of a sarpanch in Telangana village
The pilot project will be launched in Vikarabad district and the first phase of flights with specific groups is expected to start during the last week of June.
“The goal of Medicine from the Sky is to generate information that can lead to future adoption strategies and policy interventions for the inclusion of drones in the healthcare supply chain. The aim is to integrate drone deliveries with existing systems and enable quality urban infrastructure even for remote and rural areas, ”said Jayesh Ranjan, IT secretary of Telangana.
Vikarabad airspace has already been cleared by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
The project will start in trial mode at the hospital in the Vikarabad region. The program will last 24 days where four batches would make outings of six days each. The drones would carry cold vaccine storage boxes fitted with temperature sensors and data loggers to record performance.
During the first two days, flights will carry only the essentials in line of sight (VLOS). And for its next phase, it will be to deliver drugs in BVLOS to isolated areas.
Read also | Former Telangana minister Eatala Rajender resigns as MP, expected to join BJP
Click here for IndiaToday.in’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.