Drones to transport blood, an innovation that can be a boon to clinics in remote locations
New Delhi, June 08: In India, a vast majority of population dwells in rural areas and some of the villages which are referred to as 'remote' lack even the basic amenities. If we want development which would truly make sense and yield desired results, then it must reach even the remotest of corners of our vast country. Afterall, what good is development if it does not bring about a change in the lives of majority of people who dwell in the hinterland.
If we talk specifically about medical facilities, a lot needs to change at places away from urban areas. Forget villages, even small towns away from major cities lack quality medical facilities which are accessible to common people in cities. We are not talking about expensive multi-speciality hospitals or clinics here, but about government run health centres that need a major upgrade especially those operating in remote rural areas. We have to keep in mind that the average income levels in most rural areas would be much lower than urban areas and hence it is all the more important that affordable healthcare is made accessible to people dwelling in these remote areas.
Technology can help bridge this gap between rural and urban areas. Top quality medical expertise can reach rural areas if the technology is used in the right manner.
One such real life example of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used to successfully deliver a single unit of blood in Uttarakhand's Tehri district will bring smile on your face. The drone, indigenously developed at IIT Kanpur's incubation centre, was used to transport blood from a remote primary health centre in Nandagaon to the district hopital which was 30 kms away.
"As a trial, we transported a unit of blood from Nandgaon to the district hospital's blood bank which was 30 kilometres away. The drone took 18 minutes to transport blood without any problem,"news agency ANI quoted Dr S S Pangti, a senior physician at Tehri district hospital, as saying.
According to a report by News18, Nikhil Upadhye, who founded Cdspace Robotics, developed this drone which can carry four blood units of 50 ml each with the supportive cold chain to keep blood and its by-products cool.
The use of drones makes sense in many ways. Trasporting blood using a UAV to a remote location is financially viable and also saves time which can be great essence when condition of the patient is critical. Especially in hilly terrains like Uttarakhand where movement by roads takes a lot of time, drones can turnout to be blessings.