New guidelines released by ICMR for Using drones in healthcare

The research body has come up with this document after using the drones for delivering Covid-19 vaccines in the northeastern states of Manipur and Nagaland.
New guidelines released by ICMR for Using drones in healthcare
Guidance document for use of drones in healthcare. (IANS)

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday released a guidance document for use of drones in healthcare for medical supplies in far-flung areas. The research body has come up with this document after using the drones for delivering Covid-19 vaccines in the northeastern states of Manipur and Nagaland.

As per the guidance document, the Covid-19 vaccines and serums with storage temperature between 2AoC and 8AoC, tablets and capsules, syrups in bottles, gloves, syringes, blood bags, diagnostic biological tissues, urine, blood, sputum, saliva, or frozen specimens can only be transported by drone.

"As a nation with 1.3 billion, we have faced several challenges in upgrading our healthcare system. The Covid pandemic further added to this challenge but also allowed us to revisit some of the issues and fix them. With the advent of Covid-19 vaccines, ICMR envisaged the delivery of these vaccines to hard-to-reach-terrains in India. This guidance document will assist in understanding different nuances involved in planning and execution of drone-based delivery of medical supplies," Prof Dr. Balram Bhargava, Director General of ICMR, has said in the foreword of the document.

The scientists from ICMR collaborated with the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), the Government of India, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Airport Authority of India (AAI) to produce this document in compliance with the New Drone Rules-2021 which highlights the ways of selecting drones, choosing takeoffs and landing sites, etc.

The scope of this document covers areas such as how to obtain regulatory approvals from competent authorities for various kinds of drones and utilizing air space for delivering medical supplies restricted to medicines, vaccines, and surgical materials. It also underlines the ways of selecting suitable drone models and criteria for choosing take-off and landing points for drones. (AA/IANS)

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