Watch: Dubai hospital's drone delivers medicines to patient's house in first successful trial

This technology allows the hospital to promptly deliver medications to patients, significantly reducing response time and potentially saving lives in critical situations


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 30 May 2023, 5:52 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 May 2023, 8:25 PM

A hospital in Dubai has made history as it flew a drone to deliver medicines to a patient's house — proving that the future is, indeed, here.

Carried out by Fakheeh University Hospital, the groundbreaking achievement saw a drone being piloted within a 10km radius from the healthcare centre to the patient's home at Cedre Villas in Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO).

This has been done following a series of trials that were conducted for a year at DSO, a special economic zone for knowledge and innovation and a member of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ). These were also done in collaboration with the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) and the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA).

Here's how the drone delivery went:

Dr Fatih Mehmet Gul, CEO at Fakeeh University Hospital, said they take great pride in being the first in the Middle East to introduce medicine delivery via drones.

“Since our establishment, we have consistently embraced technological advancements to provide innovative services. However, this initiative marks a substantial leap forward in enhancing healthcare accessibility and achieving complete digitalization,” Dr Gul said.

The introduction of such drone deliveries presents a shift in healthcare accessibility and efficiency, the hospital said. The key benefits of this innovative approach include quick response, enhanced accessibility, reliability, and sustainability.

By using drones, the hospital can now promptly deliver medications to patients, significantly reducing response time and potentially saving lives in critical situations.

Drones also eliminate geographical barriers, allowing patients to receive medication without on-ground delays. This ground-breaking solution ensures equitable access to healthcare services for all UAE residents.

Drone delivery also significantly reduces the carbon footprint associated with traditional transportation methods.


Support from government authorities

The Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority has provided crucial support in establishing Dubai Silicon Oasis as an ideal environment for testing innovative and smart technology solutions.

Building upon this conducive ecosystem, Fakeeh University Hospital has taken a pioneering step in its commitment to embracing cutting-edge solutions to enhance patient care.

Dr Juma Al Matrooshi, director-general of Dubai Silicon Oasis, said that, as a knowledge and innovation hub within the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, Dubai Silicon Oasis is renowned for supporting the development and piloting of innovative and smart technology solutions. “In line with our role within the ‘Dubai Programme to Enable Drone Transportation’, we are committed to empowering entities from the UAE and abroad to develop and test new drone solutions that boost efficiency and convenience."

“Behind every successful solution implemented on a large scale, there are numerous smaller-scale tests and attempts to reach the final stage. Hence, we are keen on providing a conducive environment and the required support for companies to run their trials, understand the circumstances, and complete their offerings. We congratulate Fakeeh University Hospital on a well-concluded pilot, and we look forward to seeing this initiative rolled-out at DSO,” said Dr Al Matrooshi.

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