Drones are proving to be the most cutting-edge innovations for emergency situations, health hazards being one of them. To the saviour, comes a start-up aiming to revolutionise the way blood reaches the remote areas across the country.
Anshul Sharma (23), Arnab Bhattacharya (24), and Rishabh Gupta (25), aerospace graduates from MIT, Manipal, have launched their start-up – Bloodstream. They have started demonstration flights of self-made drones to overcome the logistical problems in delivering blood and other medical supplies to villages in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Nepal.
Speaking with a national daily The Indian Express, Bloodstream’s CEO Anshul Sharma said “This will be the first drone-based blood and other emergency medical supplies service in Asia. We have already made 19 successful deliveries in rural areas of Karnataka, West Bengal and Nepal”
“We aim to transport blood to women with post-delivery complications,” added young men.
For Sharma, who expressed his frustrations regarding India’s annual lack of three million units of blood the country desperately needs, something needs to be done. The lack of timely plasma, blood, or platelet availability leads to high maternal mortality rates, and will, ingenuity, and taking advantage of the technological tools at hand can possibly make a difference.
The trio will use drones that they have designed and manufactured themselves. “Our drones are called Magnum and have been awarded by NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, NTU, Singapore and MIT for third highest payload fraction – payload divided by drone weight – of 0.8 across the world,” said Sharma.
Bloodstream is enthused by the recent allowance by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for use of drones for various purposes. It has tied up with Lifeline Bloodbank, a nationwide chain of blood banks headquartered at Nagpur, for technical support. Bloodstream is also in touch with the government health machinery for a tie-up.