Coming soon: Zipline drones carrying medicines in Telangana skies
October 7, 2019: The Telangana state government has adopted a new framework on the last-mile delivery of blood, vaccines and life-saving medicines to cut transport time and increase the supply chain efficiency in the state.
October 7, 2019: The world's largest medical drone service, Zipline International, will soon have its fixed-wing drones flying throughout Telangana as the state government has adopted a new framework on the last-mile delivery of blood, vaccines and life-saving medicines to cut transport time and increase the supply chain efficiency in the state.
Telangana's minister for information technology, KT Rama Rao released the framework during the two-day event India Economic Forum in New Delhi under the project 'Medicine from the sky' of World Economic Forum along with the clinical support of Apollo Hospitals' Healthnet Global Limited.
Telangana will be the second Indian state to use drones for medical purposes as Maharashtra announced its partnership with Zipline last month with the support of Serum Institute of India.
Zipline drones, designed exclusively for medical purposes, launched their first service in the East African country Rwanda three years ago and have now expanded to Ghana. The drones use catapults with a pulley and electric motor to take off with a cruising speed of 101 km/h and drops the item at the destination using a parachute and fly back into the station where it uses the hook in its tail to capture the wire set by the system.
Rao said, "Telangana has been a pioneer in using technology for improving the lives of the citizens. Using drones to deliver blood and other medical goods to people in remote and inaccessible areas is an exemplary project that demonstrates the use of technology for the social good."
"Drones are helping people in remote rural areas become connected to important services. Adopting this framework brings Telangana one step closer to rolling out a system that could save lives. It outlines what challenges drones can solve, how to oversee operations and how to implement them. We are looking forward to the next steps of this project," said Timothy Reuter, head of aerospace and drones, World Economic Forum.
Dr Sangita Reddy, JMD, Apollo Hospitals Group said, "HealthNet Global Limited truly believes that the use of drones for the transport of organs and other medical aid will contribute to saving many lives. We are happy working with the World Economic Forum and Government of Telangana, as a clinical partner in this drones project, which I am sure is the next step in our journey of remote healthcare delivery."
World Economic Forum's 'Medicine from the sky' is a project that aims to replace the inefficient health supply chain with drones to improve health outcomes particularly in the rural areas. Drones, as listed by the project can reduce stock-outs, wastage and deaths due to diseases such as dengue, conditions like postpartum haemorrhage and loss of blood due to accidents with faster responses, high quality products and better availability.