The Health Innovation West Midlands (HIWM) is urging businesses and industry professionals across the West Midlands to express interest in its latest project; to advance and grow the local medical drone industry.
Working in partnership with, Medilink Midlands and the Midlands Aerospace Alliance, the HIWM is seeking facilitate collaboration between the healthcare sector and business community, to accelerate the adoption of drones for healthcare applications.
Drones and flying autonomous vehicles offer real potential to solve some of the long-term challenges facing the NHS. In addition to supporting the transition towards net-zero carbon emissions, 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.
With this emerging sector set to transform the healthcare industry, HIWM is interested in hearing from companies and innovators from all backgrounds and industries, with an interest in sharing their expertise and grow their own capability in this pioneering field.
Tammy Holmes, Head of Delivery, Innovation and Commercial, HIWM, said:
‘’We urge all companies with existing experience working with drones, or those that are interested to learn more about the possibilities within the healthcare sector for using drones and other autonomous flying vehicles, to get in touch.
‘’We are at the cusp of a revolutionary period in the heath and care industry and 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 taking part will be able to join events, workshops and seminars, and engage in other insights sharing activities to stay ahead of the latest trends and developments.
The project will also act as a gateway for professionals to add their voice and be part of key initiatives, for example changes in legislation, that will aim to transform the sector, while establishing the West Midlands as a national leader in this field.
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 face, 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.’
Also sharing her thoughts, 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 in January 2023. To find out more and to submit an expression of interest, please visit: www.meridian.wazoku.com/challenge/55c40363492a4c3891f19a53271dc9fa