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Abu Dhabi: Drones to supply and transport medical supplies between health facilities

22.09.2021 07:04 AM
Abu Dhabi: Drones to supply and transport medical supplies between health facilities
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Abu Dhabi: Drones to supply and transport medical supplies between health facilities
The Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, the regulatory and legislative body for the healthcare sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, announced in a project that is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region, its intention to license the use of the latest advanced technologies for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), in the transportation and delivery of medical supplies in the sector health care in the emirate.

This is part of the plans to prepare for the fiftieth year, the UAE strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the department's efforts aimed at establishing Abu Dhabi's leading position on the global innovation map and developing and upgrading health care services in the emirate, through the use and employment of the latest innovations and advanced technologies to build a world-leading health system.

Building on the advanced infrastructure of the emirate, the project, which brings together the Department of Health, the General Authority of Civil Aviation and the two companies, "SkyGo" and "Matternet" specialized in the field of drones, aims to achieve a qualitative leap in the supply and transport chains of medical supplies, medicines, samples, blood units and others. Between laboratories, pharmacies, blood banks and health facilities in various parts of the emirate, through an advanced and safer method.

The project contributes to enhancing the health and safety of the community, raising the sector's efficiency, absorptive capacity, and its response to emergencies. It will also contribute to reducing carbon emissions harmful to the environment and avoiding traffic congestion. The project also supports the emirate's goals in building a knowledge-based economy, as the project will provide many technical job opportunities for citizens and contribute to building expertise in this vital technological field.

In this regard, His Excellency Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, said: “Under the wise leadership and its wise guidance, we look forward to continuing to work hand in hand with our partners to make Abu Dhabi the first city in the Middle East and North Africa region that adopts this pioneering system.” It employs the most important modern technologies to enhance the health sector and consolidate the emirate’s position as a leading destination for health care in the world, as this project is in line with our strategies based on developing a health system that looks forward and meets its needs, in addition to enhancing the sector’s efficiency and continuing to improve the quality and availability of services in the emirate.”

Abu Dhabi's adoption of the latest digital innovations and innovative projects and accelerating efforts to harness them in the health sector are among the aspects that have strengthened in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, making Abu Dhabi the world's leading cities and occupying the first place as a leading city in addressing the pandemic.

His Excellency added: "Based on its advanced infrastructure, Abu Dhabi has been and continues to be an incubator for innovation and a pioneer in harnessing everything that is promising to achieve the health and safety of all members of society. We look forward to implementing this project and adding it to the bouquet of pioneering and innovative initiatives and projects launched and supported by Abu Dhabi."

The project is based on developing an advanced delivery system and network using drones that includes 40 stations to support the health sector during the year 2022, as it will provide transportation and delivery services to various health facilities through a rapid system for emergency cases that works around the clock according to a chain that can be tracked and its updates monitored in real time. SkyGo had completed the first phase of the tests and started the second phase, which is expected to be completed in full by the end of this year to identify all requirements for aviation, assess risks and develop appropriate solutions.

The new system will contribute to the speed and ease of transporting samples and medical supplies and managing emergency situations, such as transporting urgent medicines, antitoxins, vaccines, and others, which will contribute to reducing occupancy rates in health facilities and enhancing the quality of their outputs.

For his part, His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al-Suwaidi, Director-General of the General Civil Aviation Authority, said: “Today, we celebrate this achievement with our partners, which constitutes an important milestone in the use of drones for transportation and delivery purposes, as this is evidence of the efforts to move from the conceptual stage to the stage of development. The application is on the ground. The progress in drone applications and technology is witnessing rapid growth, which makes us keen to provide the infrastructure capable of integrating this technology smoothly and safely to be part of the concept of the smart city, which positively reflects on the well-being of the UAE society as a whole.
” SkyGo had organized a live demonstration of the new technology, in the presence of His Excellency Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, His Excellency Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, His Excellency Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, Member of the Executive Board of Directors of SkyGo, and a number of representatives from the participating institutions. The live show included the transfer and delivery of medical samples from Zayed Sports City to one of the emirate’s laboratories, during which the package carried by the “drone” plane was tracked, flying at a height of up to 300 feet above the surface of the earth, moment by moment, in a live broadcast until it reached the desired destination.

His Excellency Sultan Al Dhaheri said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of the first unmanned transport and delivery operation from Abu Dhabi. SkyGo is an Abu Dhabi-based technology development company that provides supply chain and logistics solutions through drone systems.”

SkyGo is the first company to be licensed to operate beyond the visible line of sight (BVLOS) services that enable the use of drones. The company aims to develop drone technology that provides solutions to supply and logistics through faster, more efficient, safe and sustainable alternatives.
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