Trials of ‘Medicine from Sky’ project likely this month-end

The first phase of trial flights under the ‘Medicine from the Sky’ programme of Telangana government to deliver vaccine and medical supplies using drones, to remote areas, is expected in the last week of June.

This was announced in a release on a virtual Hazard Identification and Risk Mitigation workshop, conducted on June 11, in which stakeholders from key organisations, including Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA, AAI, BCAS and NITI Aayog as well as senior officials from Vikarabad District Collectorate participated.

Spearheaded by the Emerging Technologies Wing of State’s IT Department, the ‘Medicine from the Sky’ project, with which World Economic Forum, NITI Aayog, and HealthNet Global are associated, entails undertaking experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flights for delivery of vaccines using the identified airspace of Vikarabad.

The workshop explored potential hazards and mitigation strategies during the upcoming trials. It discussed the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) and Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA). The CONOPS included detailed description of operations, various system checks, communication protocols, daily flight planning, roles and responsibilities of both crew and officials to ensure smooth conduct of the trials, a release said.

The SORA methodology of Joint Authorities for Rule-making on Unmanned Systems was followed to quantify both the ground and air risk. A final Specific Assurance and Integrity Levels (SAIL) score of ‘II’ was calculated on combining the quantified risks and accounting for strategic and tactical mitigations. A SAIL score of ‘II’ on a scale of ‘VI’ indicates low risk, the release said.

IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan said the objective of Medicine from the Sky programme is to generate insights that can drive future adoption strategies and policy interventions for inclusion of drones in healthcare supply chain.

Representatives from the eight participating consortia (drone technology partners) made presentations, the release said.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 12:29:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/trials-of-medicine-from-sky-project-likely-this-month-end/article34804786.ece

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