Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia has launched ‘Medicines from the Sky’, which seeks to send medicines to primary healthcare centres using drones.
The pilot would test the delivery of medicines using the drones beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) at 500 metres. This is the first of its kind project in the country to use drones for BVLOS sorties.
The first sortie was carried out by a drone built by Skye Air Mobility for its Consortium partner Blue Dart Express.
The maiden drone delivered a five-kg box of vaccines to a community health centre which was three kilometres away in ten minutes.
Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao said life-saving drugs, vaccines and blood could easily be transported to places, beating traffic and other hurdles.
The ‘Medicine from the Sky’ is an initiative of the Government of Telangana led by the emerging technologies wing of Telangana's IT Department in association with World Economic Forum, NITI Aayog, and HealthNet Global (Apollo Hospitals).
Three of the eight selected consortia – Bluedart Med Express Consortium (with Skye Air Mobility), Hepicopter Consortium (Marut Drones), and CurisFly Consortium (TechEagle Innovations) – have launched their test flights on Saturday.
The pilot would test the endurance of their drones over increasing longer distances and heavier payloads to establish their reliability.