WATCH: World's first drone delivery of diabetes medication to the Aran Islands
This is really phenomenal.
On all-too-rare occasions, we can be reminded how cool it is to be alive in this day and age. Yesterday provided one of those moments.
On Monday, Ireland played host to the first ever drone delivery of diabetes medication, which saw a drone deliver insulin to the Aran Islands off Ireland's west coast. The project was led by Derek O'Keeffe, an engineer and professor at NUI Galway.
The mission also involved the successful collection of a patient blood sample.
The drone completed the first fully autonomous, beyond visible line of sight (BVLOS) drone delivery, connected by Vodafone IoT, leaving from Connemara Airport and landing on Inis Mór.
The mission was conducted in consultation with the Irish Aviation Authority, and lines of communication were kept open with air space regulators at all times.
Proving that technology like this can function efficiently could have great consequences for providing medical care to those in remote areas — such as the Aran Islands.
O'Keeffe highlighted the importance of this advancement, especially as climate change continues unabated: "Climate change means that these types of severe weather events are becoming more prevalent. Individuals and communities in rural locations can become isolated for days after a severe weather event and an emergency may arise where patients can run out of their medicine.
"Therefore, it is incumbent on us to develop a solution for these emergencies, which addresses the clinical, technical and regulatory issues before a sentinel event occurs. To date medical drones have demonstrated success, for example in delivering blood, defibrillators and human organs for transplant."
Footage of the journey was captured and shared by NUIG on their Twitter page.
Watch this video of the world’s first #diabetesdrone delivery of insulin to the Aran Islands. The project was led by @Physicianeer at NUI Galway. Read more: https://t.co/jWXKXHib36
Partners @VodafoneIreland @Wingcopter @surveydrones @novonordisk @skytangoteam @uamshealth @UL pic.twitter.com/ePl3ccTxtc
— NUI Galway (@nuigalway) September 16, 2019