Abu Dhabi to use drones for medical supply transfer and delivery
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Abu Dhabi to use drones for medical supply transfer and delivery

Abu Dhabi to use drones for medical supply transfer and delivery

The project aims to ensure the overall health and safety of the community, while also increasing Abu Dhabi’s emergency preparedness

Divsha Bhat

Department of Health (DoH) – Abu Dhabi has announced that the emirate will adopt drone technology to distribute and transfer medical supplies within the healthcare sector. Drones in the supply chain will be utilised to safely transport medical supplies, medicine and blood units, vaccinations, and samples between laboratories, pharmacies, and blood banks located around the city. This will aid in emergencies and contribute to lower occupancy rates in healthcare institutions while improving patient outcomes.

The project will build a delivery system and network utilising drones at 40 sites over the year 2022. The delivery and transfer system will be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be part of the emergency response network available at Abu Dhabi’s healthcare institutions.

The initiative, a first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa, is a collaboration between the DoH, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), SkyGo and Matternet. The move will also help reduce CO2 emissions and reduced road traffic congestion.

SkyGo and Matternet have completed phase one of testing and are now working on phase two, which will be finalised by the end of this year and address all aviation safety requirements and risk assessments.

It also recently hosted a demonstration of the technology, which included transporting and delivering medical samples from Zayed Sports City to one of the Emirate laboratories. The samples were transported with end to end chain of custody (GDPS compliant) while the drone flew autonomously at an altitude of 300 feet above ground level.

SkyGo is the first company to have a license in the UAE for BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line Of Sight) commercial drone delivery operations.

The initiative also aligns with the year of preparation for the “UAE Projects of the 50”, the UAE’s Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Strategy, and broader strategies to position Abu Dhabi as a global hub for innovation.

Read: Abu Dhabi’s AI university launches executive programme for UAE govt and business leaders

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