Much to people’s surprise, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – a drone transported blood samples from a remote primary health centre of a village in Tehri district of Uttarakhand to the district hospital. The drone covered a total distance of 36 kilometres quite faster than the time it would have taken to travel by road. This experiment has raised hopes among health care officials for delivery of healthcare services in rural areas. Dr SS Pangti, Chief Medical Superintendent of the Burari district hospital in Tehri said,
The drone travelled almost 36 kilometres from Nandgaon to Burari hospital in 18 minutes while it takes around 70 to 100 minutes to cover this distance by road. The blood samples were carried along with a cooling kit which ensured that they did not get spoilt.
This experiment was a part of a telemedicine project in Tehri Garhwal which is on the process. The UAV which conducted this operation was built and operated by CD Space Robotics Limited which is currently working on developing state of the art drones for transportation. The owner of the company, Nikhil Upadhye said,
The drone that we have manufactured has the capacity of transporting emergency medicines as well as blood units with the cooling kit. In total, it can carry 500 gm of weight and can travel up to 50 km on a single charge.
The company is going to conduct more trial runs of transporting emergency healthcare items to develop this unique mode of transportation.