In a bid to increase access to health care for communities across the state, the Telangana government has adopted a new framework to use drones for last-mile delivery.
Co-designed with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Apollo Hospitals Group company Healthnet Global Ltd, it will become the foundation for the pilot project to test drone delivery, according to a release by the WEF.
“Adopting this framework brings Telangana one step closer to rolling out a system that could save lives. It outlines what challenges drones can solve, how to oversee operations and how to implement them. We are looking forward to the next steps of this project,” said Timothy Reuter, head of aerospace and drones, at the World Economic Forum.
The framework outlines the key factors in evaluating drone operations and the technical requirements for each use case. It will ensure that government services are used as efficiently as possible and will serve as the starting point for discussions with civil aviation authorities.
Telangana IT Minister K T Rama Rao said the state has been pioneer in using technology for improving the lives of the citizens. “Using drones to deliver blood and other medical goods to people in remote and inaccessible areas is an exemplary project that demonstrates use of technology for the social good.”
Apollo Hospitals Group Joint Managing Director Sangita Reddy said, “We are happy working with the World Economic Forum and the Government of Telangana, as a clinical partner in this drones project, which I am sure is the next step in our journey of remote health care delivery.”
This framework is part of the Drones and Tomorrow’s Airspace Portfolio, run out of the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution India.
It brings together government, business, start-ups, international organisations and non-governmental organisations to co-design innovative policy solutions to accelerate the benefits of emerging technologies such as drones, artificial intelligence, internet of things, and blockchain while mitigating the risks.
To recall, in 2017 a California-based startup called Zipline, which uses drones to deliver medicine and blood to remote areas, started its delivery program in the United States. Zipline first started its medical supplies delivery program in Rwanda, Africa under a government partnership, and is now operational in half of Africa.