Drugs delivered by drone

01 May 2019

A group of 13 students from Malawian universities make drones from foam core (plaster board) and 3D printed parts

A group of 13 students from Malawian universities make drones from foam core (plaster board) and 3D printed parts

Malawi reached its very own aviation milestone in January 2018. A team from Virginia Tech in the US supervised a fully autonomous, 19km simulated drug delivery flight in a drone designed at the university and built by Malawian students.

The aircraft, EcoSoar, was designed at the Unmanned Systems Lab for it to be fabricated and operated in Malawi for remote medicine delivery.

EcoSoar flew in the drone testing corridor in Kasungu, which was opened by the Malawi government, in conjunction with the UN’s children’s agency Unicef, in June 2017. The corridor was designed to explore the impact of drone applications in emergency supply delivery, vaccines, sample delivery for diagnosis and remote sensing.

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The best medicine for the worst off patients

29 April 2019

The advent of telemedicine in some of the most rural and underprivileged parts of the world has been a game-changer for medics and patients alike

Daniel Martínez, a coordinator of the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) telemedicine service, receives an alert on his mobile phone. The organisation’s team in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has a question about a paediatric case – a fiveday old baby with suspected tetanus.

The question is immediately forwarded to the system’s near 350 experts from more than 30 medical specialties around the world who answer cases requiring expert opinion very swiftly. That’s a typical day for the MSF (known in the Anglophone world as Doctors Without Borders) telemedicine operation carried out in Africa and in more than 72 countries worldwide.

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How to upgrade a communications network in a most dangerous place

27 March 2019

In 2013, South Africa’s only inland crude oil refinery decided it was time for a major overhaul of its ageing communications system. However, the plant soon realised it would not be as straightforward as it sounds – here’s why. 

Natref in Sandton, South Africa describes itself as a technologically advanced refinery. A joint venture between Sasol Oil and Total South Africa, its raison d’être is to refine heavy crude oil.

 

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From football to the emergency services

07 March 2019

A network originally introduced for crowd control at the 2010 FIFA World Cup is now saving lives and detecting criminals.

Just a few years before the turn of the millennium, the general consensus was that the conventional analogue radio network used by what is now South Africa’s City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality was in urgent need of updating.

The Pretoria skyline, the largest place of the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality (City of Tshwane)

The Pretoria skyline, the largest place of the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality (City of Tshwane)

 

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