Care & Equity – Healthcare Logistics UAS Scotland (CAELUS) is among 17 projects selected under the UK Future Flight Challenge at UK Research and Innovation to receive a share of GBP73 million in funding to develop and demonstrate integrated aviation systems and new vehicle technologies.
Supporting the NHS across Scotland, the CAELUS 2 project aims to deliver solutions to real-life problems in care delivery by: 1) reducing the time it takes for a sample to get to a laboratory. Leading to quicker clinical decisions and treatment; 2) allowing cancer patients to receive treatment in their local community. Rather than travelling long distances for chemotherapy; and 3) Improving the way surveying of critical infrastructure for example powerlines and railway tracks is carried out.
Since securing GBP1.5 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, according to NHS Scotland.
Led by AGS Airports in partnership with NHS Scotland, CAELUS 2 brings together 16 partners from across the country to develop what will be the UK’s first medical distribution drone network. The project is set to revolutionise the transport of essential medicines, pathology samples and medical supplies across Scotland including to remote communities.
Skyports Drone Services will operate live flight trials, following on from its 2020 and 2021 delivery projects in Scotland, during which the drone operator completed over 12,000 flight hours.
Alex Brown, Director of Skyports Drone Services, said: “The benefits case for drone operations in Scotland is clear, particularly across the public health sector. We’ve already demonstrated the positive impact drone interventions can have on individuals and communities, and we’re eager to kick-off the next round of flight trials with the view to soon be facilitating permanent drone deliveries to connect people to these essential supplies – wherever they are. The CAELUS project is evidence of building momentum in this space. We’re excited to work with partners to deliver impactful innovation.”
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