New Delhi-based drone logistics firm Skye Air Mobility has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, as part of plans to implement the technology across the state for medical and agri-commodity deliveries.
Following the signing of the MoU on 18 February, Skye initiated a three-day trial in the Chamba district, operating services between the district’s main hospitals and six healthcare clinics.
The trials were operated using Skye’s proprietary unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Skye Ship One, to facilitate the delivery of temperature-sensitive vaccines and medicines within a specified temperature range of 2°C and 8°C. The UAVs flew at an altitude of 122m, across three designated air corridors.
Swapnik Jakkampundi, co-founder of Skye Air, said, “As a beginning, we shall be conducting around 25 flights during the trial phase taking up hard weather and terrain challenges. In the coming months, as we look forward to enable commercial flights in the district, we shall be able to directly benefit over 519,000 people by better healthcare accessibility and creating local employments in the drone delivery ecosystem.”
Skye Air Mobility also partnered with Redcliffe Labs
Skye also signed a long-term agreement with Uttar Pradesh-based diagnostics lab Redcliffe Labs to develop a network of healthcare delivery drones for the collection of samples from remote healthcare facilities.
As part of the arrangement, Skye will conduct a series of between 30 and 40 test flights, operated from Redcliffe’s National Reference Lab in Noida, ahead of a planned commercial roll-out.
The partnership covers plans to deploy the drones in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, and other northern states.
''This step is strategic in terms of achieving reduced turnaround time along with serving patients even in the remotest parts of the country,'' said Dheeraj Jain, Founder, Redcliffe Labs. “We foresee this as a breakthrough in the Indian healthcare delivery system and are looking forward to the benefits that this association will bring along.”