ICMR lists norms for drones in healthcare

Decks were cleared today for the last mile delivery of medicine supplies and biologicals with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) unveiling its guidance document on the use of drones to transport not only temperature sensitive medical supplies like vaccines, but also blood bags, diagnostic biological samples, urine, sputum and saliva for early detection of diseases.

The document, based on field experiences of successful pilots in transporting Covid vaccines, syringes and tablets in Manipur and Nagaland, talks about ways of receiving regulatory approvals from competent authorities in respect of use of air space for healthcare delivery.

Details on selection of drones and choosing takeoff and landing points have also been discussed in the document along with a step by step elaboration of the preparation of carrier boxes and loading and unloading procedures.

Prepared in consultation with the Civil Aviation Ministry, the document covers drone transportation of vaccines and other temperature sensitive medical supplies and other non-temperature sensitive supplies like tablets, syrups and surgicals.

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