The Meghalaya government in partnership with startup TechEagle has unveiled Asia's first drone delivery hub and network which is aimed at providing universal access to healthcare for the people in the state, a release said on Tuesday.
The project is aimed at delivering vital supplies like drugs, diagnostic samples, vaccines, blood and blood components quickly and safely to different regions of the state using a dedicated drone delivery network, it said.
On Monday, the first official drone flight took off from Jengjal Sub Divisional Hospital, which will act as the hub, and delivered medicines to Padeldoba primary health centre in less than 30 minutes, which would otherwise have taken 2.5 hours by road, TechEagle said in the release.
TechEagle's Vertiplane X3 Drone delivered different healthcare products in its first flight which was five times faster in comparison to ground transportation, it said.
Meghalaya Drone Delivery Network (MDDN) and hub in Phase 1 is a combination of one central hub and 25 spokes (supply chain nodes) in a radius of 50 kilometres where the drone hub at Jengal hospital will act as the centre point, according to TechEagle.
MDDN would bring universal access to healthcare for 2.7 million people of Meghalaya, as per the release.
With Asia's first drone delivery network, the solution overcomes the problem of lack of visibility, high delivery costs, outdated technology and inaccessibility through roads and railway networks, it said.
"The launch of MDDN and hub is a first big step forward in the direction of achieving the goal of universal access to healthcare and logistics across the world," said Vikram Singh, founder-CEO of TechEagle.
TechEagle's drones are capable of vertical takeoff and landing from small areas which enables both forward and reverse logistics of healthcare products in the network, as per the company.