Mumbai, Jan 21 (PTI) B2B pharma platform RetailIO said on Friday it has successfully conducted drone delivery trials in the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka, in collaboration with healthcare autonomous drone logistics company Redwing Labs. The trial flights took place between Gauribidanur and Hossur Primary Healthcare Center (PHC) in the Chikkaballapur district, using a hybrid VTOL drone with a payload capacity of up to two kg, according to a statement.
Maintaining the cold chain and all the norms, the team conducted four trips with different product mixes as part of the pilot, it said.
The pilot was focused on delivering critical lifesaving medicines to hospitals in under 10 minutes, it said adding that with an average speed of 90 kilometres per hour (kmph), the drone covered an ariel distance of around 10 km under eight minutes.
“The vision to integrate drones in the healthcare ecosystem is a critical step towards efficient medicine delivery. We feel autonomous drones at scale will bring in a lot of disruption in the healthcare delivery,” said Mithil Jain, CEO of RetailIO 1P.
With an exceptional response time, life-saving medicines can be delivered at lightning speeds, he said.
“The success of the pilot opens up tremendous opportunities to provide exceptional service and healthcare supplies to the remotest part of the country,” Jain said.
RetailIO is India’s largest B2B pharma platform with a presence in over 100 cities with a network of over 1,000 healthcare/ pharma companies, over 3,000 pharma distributors and over 1 lakh pharmacies, hospitals and nursing homes, according to the company’s website.
The company said the trial phase opens up a plethora of opportunities in improving healthcare delivery for multiple stakeholders, this together with numerous such applications has tremendous potential to augment the entire ecosystem.
“We believe autonomous drone systems are the future and will help the ecosystem get better. This is the future and we will continue to focus on such kinds of innovations,” Harsh Parekh, co-founder of API holdings, said.
Additionally, he said the VTOL drone was used in the demonstration and is 100 per cent electric.
Drone-based delivery networks could result in over 90 per cent reduction in carbon emissions compared with using vans and cars, Parekh said.
Launched to accelerate technology adoption in the supply chain empowering pharmacies with technology and digital tools, RetailIO provides real-time inventory visibility and discovery of competitive pricing, among others.
API Holdings Ltd, through its direct and indirect subsidiaries, forms India’s largest digital healthcare platform based on gross merchant value (GMV) of products and services sold for the year ended March 31, 2021, according to the statement.
It provides its services to 3,261 wholesalers, 87,194 pharmacies and 4,617 prescribing doctors and clinics, and 926 hospitals, with 25 million total registered users, according to the company. PTI IAS HRS hrs