India may soon use drones for transporting emergency medical supplies. Senior health officials are working on this plan in order to beat the country’s ever-increasing traffic problem and deliver organs to the patients who need them faster than ever.
New Drone Operation Regulations On the Horizon
The idea of using drones for delivering medical material comes as the Indian aviation ministry works on introducing new regulations to be placed on drone flights. Their goal is to provide a friendly regulatory environment by the end of Q1 2019. As a part of this set of regulations, owning and operating drones would no longer be considered illegal. Drone operators will be able to register their equipment before operating it, apart from following the rules that have been set in place to manage air traffic control.
Drone Tech Expected to Boost Country’s Economic Growth
According to junior aviation minister, Jayant Sinha, the new drone regulations aim to enable businesses to take advantage of the drone technology and as a result, boost the Indian economy. “We have a vision of having millions of drones fly in the country, and we have taken the first step towards it,” he claimed. “Drones are the kind of frontier technology which can boost India’s economic growth,” he continued. “Now, when exactly it’s going to happen would actually depend on the drone operators. Our only job is to provide a regulatory framework within which drones can be operated safely and securely.”
Drone Corridors Will Soon Be the Reality
“One possible way to use the drone technology is to build ‘drone corridors’. They can be set up between drone ports which will be built on the top roofs of the leading hospitals in the country,” Sinha said. “We have discussed the plan to transport transplant organs safely between a network of hospitals with a large private hospital company that currently finds it very challenging to transport organs in time, considering the nature of traffic you would find on the Indian streets.”
“Since organ transport is such a time-sensitive task, health officials in India sometimes set up “green corridors” that help manage traffic and let the vehicles carrying the organs reach their destination within the specified time frame,” he explained. “But drones certainly offer a much better alternative for this.”
According to him, drone tech would largely be utilized by the private sector hospitals rather than the government-operated hospitals. Apollo Hospitals, the national private hospital chain, is reportedly planning a drone trial in Chennai.