AIIMS Rishikesh conducts trial of delivering tuberculosis medicines to patients using drones

Rishikesh (Uttarakhand) [India], February 16 (ANI): ALL India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh conducted a successful trial for transporting tuberculosis medicines with the help of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to the district hospital in Tehri Garhwal in Uttarakhand.

Gurugram-based drone start-up TechEagle on February 16 delivered 3 kg of tuberculosis medicines with the help of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh to the district hospital in Tehri Garhwal.

"Technical support has been provided by National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC)," an official statement said.

"Vertiplane x3 drone model was used in this demonstration and 2 kg medicine was loaded to deliver these drugs at District Hospital Tehri Garhwal Uttarakhand. Approx 40 km aerial distance (one side) was covered within 30 minutes," it added.

This trial was conducted in the presence of Executive Director of AIIMS Rishikesh Prof Meenu Singh, and Advisor to Union Health Minister Nandish Ramesh Pethani.

"We want to develop this type of system in Uttarakhand so that patients will get the medicines and they have not to travel for it," Dr Meenu Singh said.

AIIMS Rishikesh has taken this initiative to supply ATT drugs to prevent TB with the incorporation of innovative interventions which would likely reach the World Health Organization’s objective to eliminate TB.

"The present project is intended to conduct a long-term feasibility and develop a model to integrate the technology into the healthcare system as a supplement to existing logistics methods and suggest ways for the long-term sustainability of drone-based delivery of medical supplies especially TB medicines," the statement further said.

It also said that the project would calculate the cost-effectiveness of delivering medicines and transportation of sputum samples to the laboratory via drone in Uttarakhand.

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most ancient and highly contagious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

India reported about one-fourth of the global TB burden and its elimination remains a challenge. (ANI)