Expanding Diagnostic Services in Rural India: Redcliffe Labs Utilizes Drone Technology for Sample Collection and Testing
Redcliffe Labs, a unit of Redcliffe Lifetech in the United States and India, is one of India’s fastest-growing diagnostic service providers. It already has a presence in more than 100 cities through its wide network of labs and collection centres. But now it aims to provide diagnostic services even in rural areas. For this, Redcliffe Labs will use drone delivery technology for sample collections and testing in the semi-urban and rural areas in India. To understand how drone technology will be used, HealthWire spoke to Dheeraj Jain – Founder, Redcliffe Labs. Here are excerpts.
How Redcliffe Labs’ decision to use drone technology is going to help the common man?
• The use of drone technology is aimed at a faster supply chain for sample collection as supply challenges are frequently caused by poor transport networks or no road connectivity in rural areas. Also, due to the long delivery period, it gets difficult to ensure the safety and sterility of the samples. So, sample collection by drone could weave in effective solution to such problems.
Also, use of drone technology will help the common man as it will help in expanding the horizon of our diagnostic services by reaching out to the sub-cities, semi-urban and remote areas. Additionally, Redcliffe Labs will be able to speed up its process and increase the level of efficiency.
Is there any blueprint regarding how it will be operated, how to make sure samples do not get mixed, and that they will safely reach the testing centres?
• There are multiple safety features and methodological processes being adopted for the air worthiness of the drones and the systematic delivery of samples. Also, the feasibility of drone transportation has been concluded after a thorough investigation of the flight time, sample quality and onboard conditions.
How challenging would it be to use drone technology, especially in rural areas?
• Honestly, the drone technology is to overcome logistics hurdles and is perhaps a solution, a game changer and not a challenge to use in rural areas.
What all tests would be offered through this drone technology?
All our tests where sample collection is needed will be offered through the drone technology.
CSR initiatives of the company.
• Going beyond our core pathology services, Redcliffe has helped empower women and children in different states across the country such as Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar, Delhi, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana with CSR initiatives in areas of education, awareness programs on health & hygiene, malnutrition, skilling & entrepreneurship.