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Wings of Healing: regulatory landscape, case studies and the Indian prologue of drones in healthcare
  1. Ankita Sharma1,
  2. Anju Vijayan1,
  3. Pavan Ananth2,
  4. Deepshikha Chhetri2,
  5. Rahul Konapur2,
  6. Nachiket Gudi3
  1. 1 Department of Health Policy, Prasanna School of Public Health, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  2. 2 Pravesh, Chennai, India
  3. 3 Department of Health Information, Prasanna School of Public Health, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, India
  1. Correspondence to Nachiket Gudi, Department of Health Information, Prasanna School of Public Health, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India; gudi.nachiket{at}


The healthcare sector is among the most rapidly expanding sectors. Drones are increasingly being used to reach the unreached in healthcare. Drones exhibit profound significance by overcoming accessibility challenges and offering versatile solutions. The future of healthcare is in the air, and new government initiatives uncover the country’s rapid market growth. Investments in drone technologies are rising, with research predicting significant drone expansion in the upcoming decade. Since this sector is still in its nascent stage, the time is ripe for stakeholders to collectively work for the effective implementation of drone technology in India. In this context, the paper seeks to bridge existing knowledge gaps by analysing the global regulatory landscape, the evolution of drones in India, used cases in healthcare, and the barriers that constrain their deployment in the healthcare domain. It explores the obstacles that hinder the widespread adoption of drones. Addressing these challenges becomes essential in unlocking the full potential of drone technology in revolutionising healthcare delivery, enhancing patient outcomes and overcoming logistical constraints. The report argues about the potential shift drones can bring to healthcare delivery while underlining the necessity of addressing regulatory concerns and fostering public trust.

  • Health Care Quality, Access, and Evaluation
  • Policy
  • Delivery of Health Care

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  • AS and AV are joint first authors.

  • X @GudiNachiket

  • Contributors Conceptualisation: PA, NG and RK; Methodology: NG, AS and AV; Formal analysis: AS and AV; Resources: NG and PA; Data curation: PA, AS, AV and NG; Writing–original draft: AS, AV, PA, NG, RK and DC; Writing–review and editing: NG, PA, DC and RK. Visualisation: AV and AS; Supervision: NG and PA; Project administration: PA, NG; AS and AV are the joint first authors of this manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.