Businesses in our region over the course of the last year has been successful in receiving funding from a joint initiative between the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency (ESA) which aimed to find and support space-enabled technologies and services that can support the NHS response to coronavirus.
Space company Skyports worked with Deloitte to use the ESA Space Solutions funding, received alongside NHS Highland, which serves a group of islands off the west coast of Scotland, to use drones to deliver medical supplies and samples from a hospital on the Argyll and Bute mainland.
Drones use mobile connectivity, satellite communications and navigation, and Earth observation data, to chart a course to others areas of the mainland and across the sea to nearby islands to reach medical practices in need.
At the time Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:
I’m proud of how our world-leading space sector is stepping up to provide innovative solutions to directly support our amazing NHS, as we continue our national effort to tackling coronavirus.
The projects we are backing today show UK ingenuity at its finest, and will make a real difference to how we use this latest innovative technology to deliver critical healthcare now and long into the future.
And Duncan Walker, Chief Executive Officer at Skyports, talking of the project pointed out: “Using drone deliveries within supply chains can create significant time and cost savings. This project is a natural progression from our recent trials with the NHS in Scotland as we scale and develop our operations, supporting a wider network of hospitals and medical practices as they continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We want more healthcare facilities to benefit from our service over the long-term and the experience of this important initiative will put us another step closer to permanent operations that the whole of the NHS could soon benefit from.”
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