JIPMER introduces drone service to monitor patients

Puducherry: Patients at the Centre-run JIPMER here would now be monitored using drones. The premier institute has procured a nano drone that could be used for various medical purposes including monitoring patients in ICUs.

Director of JIPMER R P Swaminathan commissioned the service recently, a release from the institute said Thursday. JIPMER is the first government medical institute to introduce the innovative and unique service, it said.

Head of the IT wing Dr Ravi Kumar Chittoria, who is in charge of medical drone service said, “adoption of medical drones are well established in European countries whereas in India, it is still in the preliminary stage.”

He said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has defined five categories of drones including ‘nano drones,’ which weigh less than or equal to 250 grams. Drones weighing more than 250 grams should be registered with the DGCA.

The institute has already placed orders for micro drones weighing over 250 grams and would get it registered, he said. Nano drones can be flown into an ICU ward to check on patients without entering the ward to avoid spread of infection.

The drone could also be used to monitor large crowd of patients in Out Patient wards, which would be useful during emergencies. It could be operated using internet connectivity provided by National Knowledge Network available from the National Informatics Centre (NIC) Puducherry.