TechNet-21 - Forum

This forum provides a place for members to ask questions, share experiences, coordinate activities, and discuss recent developments in immunization.
  1. John Lloyd
  2. Supply chain and logistics
  3. Tuesday, 29 March 2016

I have struggled unsuccessfully to link this message to a remark made by Soren Spanner a week or two ago asking whether anyone has tried to distribute vaccine to remote sites by drone? I'm surprised that a debate on this subject has not yet reached TECHNET. Luckily the global debate seems healthy! Take this link for example sent to me by Anne McArthur, my wife, over a distance of 2.4 meters just now:

www.fosterandpartners.com/news/archive/2015/09/proposals-for-droneport-project-launched-to-save-lives-and-build-economies/

Interesting. As mentioned by Soren, the altitude should be in our 'cool-interest', the range is already enough to serve zones with difficult access, the flights could be automatically navigated and the load of a kilogram could carry an interesting quantity of vaccine. Assuming that vaccine continues to be administered by a qualfied team of medical personnel then the main benefit would be the elimination of the cold-chain equipment burden for remote outreach immuniization. The scenario might be, for example, a two-week circuit made with porters and animals to a group of mountain villages - less to carry and drones to meet the team as they arrive at the villages.

The benefits and the costs need careful assessment once the technology is shown to be successful.

Moderator Accepted Answer
Admin
Now a video showing how zipline cuts delivery time from 4 hours to 15 minutes using drones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnDpE8uSb7M&feature=youtu.be
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Supply chain and logistics
  3. # 1
Moderator Accepted Answer
Admin

The UPS Foundation today announced a partnership with Zipline, a California­-based robotics company, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to explore using drones to transform the way life-saving medicines like blood and vaccines are delivered across the world.

http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Drones-from-Bay-Area-startup-to-deliver-vaccines-7413254.php

  1. more than a month ago
  2. Supply chain and logistics
  3. # 2
Cornelius Rau Accepted Answer

THE LANCET has released an article on the potential benefit of drones for health.
(the fulltext can be accessed free of charge but you will have to register first)

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)30361-0/fulltext?elsca1=etoc
References
  1. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)30361-0/fulltext?elsca1=etoc
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Supply chain and logistics
  3. # 3
John Lloyd Accepted Answer

Drone ports to fly vaccine to remote sites

This is potentially a technology that could transform the access to immunization services in remote areas or where populations are physically difficult to reach. Reaching the last 20% of infants who have difficult access is a major equity goal for the next several years. It will be costly for countries and burdensome for health staff so we shall need every new technology and technique that we can use to streamline immunization outreach to bringservices to new, unserved populations. Technique in this area is the legacy of the Polio Eradication Initiative that has sought out remote communities with infants never counted in the demographics, never registered. Technologies, such as the use of drones, that help health teams reach the unreached exist but are fragmented and often not widely known. Nor is there an organised and financed process to advance them towards scale-up in countries.

Technology to support Immunization Outreach Services could be a blog, or part of a GAVI Hub and could start with a review of the current landscape but today it seems like an 'orphan'. There is already a core activity at WHO (Reach Every Community) on techniques of immunization Outreach born of the PEI. Who will help incorporate Technologies and make this a global strategy - a legacy of Polio Eradication?

  1. more than a month ago
  2. Supply chain and logistics
  3. # 4
Sophie Newland Accepted Answer

Hello. Just sharing a link to a New York Timesonline article fromtoday- "Drones Marshaled to Drop Lifesaving Supplies Over Rwandan Terrain" -that made me think of this TechNet exchange on drones and vaccines."Zipline plans up to 150 flights a day carrying payloads up to 3.5 pounds as far as 75 miles roundtrip from their launching point, according to theTimes."

References
  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/05/technology/drones-marshaled-to-drop-lifesaving-supplies-over-rwandan-terrain.html?_r=0
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Supply chain and logistics
  3. # 5
Dan Brigden Accepted Answer

A few years back, a Grand Challenges Explorations grant of $100,000 was awarded by the Gates Foundation to a team of researchers on "Optimizing Immunization Systems: Delivering Vaccines with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles".

"George Barbastathis of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology in the U.S. will lead a team to develop Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that can be deployed by health care workers via cell phones to swiftly transport vaccines to rural locations and alleviate last-mile delivery problems and improve cost, quality, and coverage of vaccine supplies."

It was covered by Project Optimize and you can read the interview with the research team here:

www.technet-21.org/en/forums/can-uavs-be-used-to-transport-vaccines-to-remote-health-centers

However, I can't find anything on the outcome of the project on the Grand Challenges website, or any other website. Seems to have disapepared. Shame.

References
  1. http://gcgh.grandchallenges.org/grant/demand-vaccine-delivery-low-cost-uavs
  2. http://www.technet-21.org/en/forums/can-uavs-be-used-to-transport-vaccines-to-remote-health-centers
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Supply chain and logistics
  3. # 6
Soren Spanner Accepted Answer
Thank you John, very interesting. Hoping that somebody can/will follow up on this. Best Soren Sent from my iPhone Best regards Søren Spanner
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Supply chain and logistics
  3. # 7
Moderator Accepted Answer
Admin

Soren's comments were on the newsfeed. Here is a screenshot.

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  1. more than a month ago
  2. Supply chain and logistics
  3. # 8


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