India has announced the launch of a test project for the contactless delivery of drugs by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). They want to be used to transport drugs to hard-to-reach areas or places with a high level of infection. In addition to drones, the Indian authorities are using artificial intelligence (AI) systems, robots and high-tech masks to combat COVID-19, all of their own, Indian production.
While the whole world is trying to cope with the third wave of the pandemic caused by the Indian strain of COVID-19, the Indian authorities and local companies are increasingly using high technology to fight the coronavirus. A project called “Medicines from the air” launched in June by the government of Telangana, which has a population of 35 million. From one of the local airfields drones carry out test delivery of medicines out of line of sight. In the first phase, the delivery radius will be limited to the city of Vicarabad and its environs. UAVs will deliver both drugs in dry forms (tablets, powders, dragees, etc.) and more complex drugs that require thermal containers.
The Air Medicines project is supported by the World Economic Fund, Telangana Regional Government, NITI Aayog State Technology Development Fund and Indian technology company HealthNet Global. “The main goal of the Air Medicines project is to create a common strategy for including UAVs in a permanent drug delivery system. The inclusion of the UAV in the existing drug delivery system will provide a level of urban infrastructure for rural and remote regions, ”said Jayesh Ranjan, Minister of Information Technology in the Telangana Regional Government.
If the delivery of drugs and medicines using UAVs in India is in the stage of a test launch, then delivery robots have been used since the beginning of the year. In January, the Assam state government (population about 32 million) announced that remote-controlled robots developed by a local company Yantrabot Technologies Pvt Limitedwill deliver medicines, food and other items to patients in Assam hospitals.
The goal of the project is to protect doctors and service personnel working in the “red” zones of infectious diseases hospitals and departments, and to reduce their contact with patients.
The company’s specialists emphasize that these robots are entirely Indian design.
Another Indian development – presented in the spring high-tech full-length Nevon Air Mask, practically eliminating the possibility of infection with COVID-19. The device was created by Nevon Solutions. It completely covers the face, eyes and nose from infections, in addition, thanks to the forced ventilation and special filters in the mask, it is comfortable to breathe and it can be worn without removing it for a long time.
“One of the reasons we can’t stop the spread of the coronavirus yet is the use of inappropriate masks. In addition to the vaccines themselves, this requires full-size masks that filter the air, protecting the mouth, nose and eyes – it is through them that the infection usually enters the body, “said Nevon Solutions CEO Niraj Savant.
The high-tech full-length Nevon Air Mask is designed to be reusable for more than eight hours a day
Last year, India began to use to combat COVID-19 work Mitrawhich was introduced in 2017 to work in hospitals and hotels. The robot is equipped with AI technologies, face and speech recognition, speech synthesis in English, Hindi and Tamil languages, as well as autonomous navigation and self-learning capabilities. Mitra runs on its own operating system, which minimizes the likelihood of Internet hacker attacks or malware infection.
Hospitals with a Mitra robot claim that such technologies make patients happier, as they help to connect with relatives and doctors, and also take selfies with them.
Photo: Adnan Abidi / Reuters
On the “chest” of the robot is a large touchscreen display, in fact, a tablet that can be used to communicate with a patient in the “red” zone to minimize his contact with doctors and service personnel. The robot is also used to deliver medication, medicine and food to wards, and patients who are in wards where the use of mobile phones is not allowed can call Mitra to make video calls to their relatives.