NHS Scotland & AGS Airports Land £10M Medical Drone Project Funding

A consortium including AGS Airports and NHS Scotland has acquired over £10 million ($12 million) in funding to deliver the UK’s first medical distribution network using drones. The CAELUS consortium is in the process of establishing a national drone delivery network for medical supplies across Scotland.

CAELUS (Care & Equity – Healthcare Logistics UAS Scotland) has successfully acquired over £10 million ($12 million) in funding from the Future Flight Challenge at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

CAELUS, which consists of 16 partners, including AGS Airports, NHS Scotland, the University of Strathclyde and National Air Traffic Services (NATS), is developing a national drone network for medical distribution in Scotland.

Fiona Smith, AGS Airports Group Head of Aerodrome Strategy and CAELUS Project Director, said, “The CAELUS project is set to revolutionize the way in which healthcare services are delivered in Scotland. A drone network can ensure critical medical supplies can be delivered more efficiently, it can reduce waiting times for test results and, more importantly, it can provide equity of care between urban and remote rural communities.”

Scotland is home to many remote communities that have trouble receiving medical supplies through conventional delivery methods. The drone distribution network aims to “transport essential medicines, bloods and other medical supplies throughout Scotland, including to remote communities.”

The latest funding is from the Future Flight Challenge, the UKRI-led investment program pumping £125 million ($149 million) into the next wave of aviation tech.

CAELUS received backing to the tune of £1.5 million ($1.79 million) in January 2020. The project has designed drone landing stations for NHS sites across Scotland and also developed a digital-twin virtual model of the drone network.

Live flight trials will be operated by Skyports, one of the members of CAELUS. Skyports played a key role in early trial flights through 2020 and 2021, with over 12,000 flight hours logged.

The CAELUS project will make medical supplies quickly available across Scotland through its innovative drone delivery network. Congratulations on the project funding. Best of wishes to AGS Airports, NHS Scotland and the rest of the consortium.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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