Drones to deliver medicines in Arunachal Pradesh

Vertical take-off and landing drones – designed, manufactured, and operated by Indian start-ups – would be used in the project.

Published: 10th August 2022 08:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th August 2022 09:20 AM   |  A+A-


Image of a drone used for representational purposes only. (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Come August 15, drones will begin ferrying medicines to the far-flung areas of East Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh. The state government, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF), will launch the “Medicine from the Sky” initiative to test the technological capabilities of drones and understand how health systems in remote parts of the state respond to the use of drone-based supply chains. 

In February this year, the Pema Khandu government and the WEF signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly explore the possibility of using drones for medical logistics. The objective is to build an evidence-based blueprint for putting the right policies in place and enabling a gradual scale-up across the state. 

“East Kameng district has a hilly terrain which makes it difficult to access interior areas, particularly during monsoon season. I am sure drone-based drug delivery will be a game changer in strengthening access to healthcare in such remote areas. I hope the project will give us the answers and clarity for large-scale implementation,” district magistrate Pravimal Abhishek Polumatla told this newspaper.

To be based out of district headquarters Seppa, this will be the Northeast’s first automated healthcare drone network. It will operate as an aerial hub and spoke network and connect the district’s primary and community healthcare centers to the district health points and laboratories in Seppa. Vertical take-off and landing drones – designed, manufactured, and operated by Indian start-ups – would be used in the project. 

“By delivering medical supplies much faster than road-based logistics, the drone network would serve the remote areas by offering access to diagnostics, essential medicines, and vaccines. We are hoping that this will reduce out-of-the-pocket expenditure for patients.” Polumatla said.

The network is being set up on an experimental basis for 6-8 months to pilot healthcare drone deliveries. Based on the impact, the state will implement it in the other districts.

The project will be the first pilot to go beyond technical feasibility and focus on multiple aspects, including integration with existing health systems, community involvement, local tech employment and impact on health and economic outcomes, the DM said. “To strengthen community engagement, we have launched an awareness programme in villages through ‘Drone Ambassadors’,” Polumatla said.

India Matters


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp