The West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) is urging businesses and industry professionals across the region to express interest in its latest project – to advance and grow the local medical drone industry.
Working with Medilink Midlands and the Midlands Aerospace Alliance, the WMAHSN is seeking to facilitate collaboration between the healthcare sector and business community, to accelerate the adoption of drones for healthcare applications. The WMAHSN says drones and flying autonomous vehicles ‘offer real potential to solve some of the long-term challenges facing the NHS’. As well as supporting the transition towards net-zero carbon emissions, the organisation says drones can help improve response times and access to rural communities, and offer quicker diagnosis and treatment thanks to direct deliveries of samples and medicines. WMAHSN is thus keen to hear from companies and ‘innovators from all backgrounds and industries’ with an interest in sharing their expertise and growing their own capability ‘in this pioneering field’.
Tammy Holmes, head of Delivery, Innovation and Commercial at WMAHSN (pictured), said: “We urge all companies with existing experience working with drones, or those interested in learning more about the possibilities within the healthcare sector for using drones and other autonomous flying vehicles, to get in touch. Technologies such as these will not only revolutionise the way care is provided, but it will also aid our local economy by creating new business and job opportunities.” Businesses participating will be able to join events, workshops, and seminars, and ‘engage in other insight-sharing activities to stay ahead of the latest trends and developments’.
Chris Dyke, Medilink Midlands Connectivity manager added: “We have already seen a lot of interest in the use of drones in the healthcare industry, but to make it a reality we need the insights and practical knowledge of drone experts. Their expertise will enable us to better understand any problems and hurdles this fledgling industry sector faces, to help us take the next step towards becoming a national leader in this field. To solve the technical and logistical solutions for implementing drones into care pathways, we rely on collaboration between small and medium-sized businesses to get involved alongside bigger players, as well as regional and national organisations to help us nurture the growth of this new business environment. Ultimately, we collectively want to pioneer the creation of a regional centre of expertise for the medical drone industry and sector.”
Nicola Deards, Technology manager at the Midlands Aerospace Alliance said: “Drone designs and the technologies associated with them are coming on at pace, with trials to develop beyond line-of-sight drone operations over water and land taking place across the country, and the surrounding regulations starting to come together to inform how this is managed. There is a great opportunity here to bring together the disparate arms of drone development in the Midlands into a community that can maximise the chances of success in serving the medical sector in meaningful ways and build a world-beating capability. We urge all companies with any link to drones or drones as a service to come on board.”
Applications are currently open, and will close this month. To find out more, and to submit an expression of interest, visit: www.meridian.wazoku.com/challenge/55c40363492a4c3891f19a53271dc9fa