Piramal Foundation has joined hands with Redwing Labs for automated delivery and collection of sputum samples (which detects infections of the lungs) in the Kalahandi district of Odisha. The practice will be followed under the initiative called ‘Anamaya’ to facilitate screening and diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) disease.
The pilot testing of drones, which was implemented in March, saw a significant time reduction to cover the distance to the diagnostic centre, an official statement said.
The deployed drones had a capacity of transfer 2-3 kilograms of weight and collected 34 samples from two villages during one flight each, the statement said.
Furthermore, a distance of 36 kilometres of ‘remote’, ‘hill’, ‘uneven’ and ‘forest-covered’ terrain (which usually takes approximately 55 minutes by road), was covered in around 20 minutes.
The Redwing team has customised the drones to suit the specific needs of this pilot testing and ensured operational efficiency.
Aditya Natraj, CEO of Piramal Foundation said, “Diagnosis is very critical to fast-track treatment and collection of sputum sample is a crucial step. It is important that the sputum is transported safely to the diagnostic centre with improved speed.
Through the drone pilot we aimed to reduce the time to transport the sputum sample in a proper non-contaminated shape to the diagnostic centre,” he added.