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Technology

Researchers begin looking into how drones could deliver medicines in the UK

A research team is studying whether drones could be used to deliver hospital medicines or blood to isolated patients in rural areas of Wales.

Researchers at Aberystwyth University started the project by talking to local people in North Wales about their perceptions of using drones to deliver some healthcare products.

The team will also talk to healthcare professionals, aeronautic specialists, and Welsh government politicians and policy makers.

A spokesperson for the university told The Pharmaceutical Journal that on-time drug delivery, easy access to portable medical equipment and real-time video-based telehealth-enabled by drones “will create immense value for Wales’s rural patients, who currently suffer from limited access to these resources”.

The researchers are to hold three focus groups to look at the use of drones to deliver healthcare services and results collected by the study will lead to the development of a larger grant application to build prototype systems and evaluate an implementation study.

The project is funded by Welsh Crucible, a leadership development programme for researchers in Wales, which is funded by higher education institutions in Wales and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.

Drones are already successfully used to deliver medical supplies to remote regions in other parts of the world.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206433

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