CAELUS (Care & Equity – Healthcare Logistics UAS Scotland) and its consortium members have secured £10.1 million funding from the Future Flight Challenge at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) last month.
A press release reports “The consortium led by AGS Airports in partnership with NHS Scotland which plans to deliver what will be the UK’s first medical distribution network using drones has launched its next phase.
“CAELUS brings together 16 partners including the University of Strathclyde, NATS and NHS Scotland. Together they are working to deliver what will be the first national drone network that can transport essential medicines, bloods and other medical supplies throughout Scotland including to remote communities.
“Since securing £1.5 million in January 2020, the CAELUS consortium has designed drone landing stations for NHS sites across Scotland and developed a virtual model (digital twin) of the proposed delivery network which connects hospitals, pathology laboratories, distribution centres and GP surgeries across Scotland.
“The CAELUS project is set to revolutionise the way in which healthcare services are delivered in Scotland. A drone network can ensure critical medical supplies can be delivered more efficiently, it can reduce waiting times for test results and, more importantly, it can provide equity of care between urban and remote rural communities.
“Live flight trials will be operated by CAELUS consortium member Skyports. The UK-based drone services provider is an experienced operator of medical and dangerous goods cargo flights. The company was instrumental to early trial flights with NHS Scotland in 2020 and 2021, flying over 14,000km in the region to date.”
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