IndiaStates and CapitalsUttarakhand(Dehradun)

In 30 minutes, a drone brings an anti-TB drug to a hospital in Rishikesh, which is 40 km away.

On Thursday, a test was done at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences-Rishikesh to see if drones could deliver medicine to primary health centres or smaller hospitals in an emergency.

During the trial, a 2 kg package of anti-tuberculosis drugs was sent from a Vertiplane X3 drone to a district hospital in Tehri Garhwal. From the helipad at AIIMS to the hospital, which is about 40 kilometres away, it took 30 minutes to fly. The project will figure out the cost-effectiveness of sending medicines and sputum samples to labs as part of the country’s plan to get rid of tuberculosis by 2025.

Mansukh Mandaviya, the minister of health for the Union, said, “Today, a test of drones delivering medicine went well. Drones will be especially helpful in hilly areas where it would have taken two hours to travel 40 kilometres.

He said that the technology could be used in the future to move organs between hospitals when time is of the essence.

Mandaviya also said that a similar test will be done to get supplies from AIIMS-Delhi to the National Cancer Centre, which is connected to AIIMS-Delhi and is about 50 km away in Jhajjar.

“Difficulties like bad transportation networks, hilly terrain, traffic, areas hit by natural disasters, and bad weather make it hard to get anti-tuberculosis drugs to people on time. In addition, unexpected delays in getting sputum samples to the lab can cause treatment to be put off. “Given these problems, it is important to find a good delivery system to help the current supply chain,” the institute said in a report.

The drone that was used in Rishikesh on Thursday was made by TechEagle Innovations and can carry 4 kg over a distance of 50 km. It has also been used by the government of Meghalaya to move medicines, and a drone station has been set up in Jengjal.

This is not the first time a drone has been used to move medical supplies. In fact, Covid-19 vaccines were sent to Manipur as part of a pilot project run by the Indian Council of Medical Research.

A Bangalore-based startup tried out another way to get medicines to people in Arunachal Pradesh through a pilot project. Aside from that, there are also e-pharmacies that use drones to deliver medicines.

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