Draganfly Inc. today announced that it has been chosen to be the exclusive global systems integrator for the Vital Intelligence Project. The company will work with deep learning firm Vital Intelligence Inc. and the University of South Australia to combine aerial drones, cameras, and data services for healthcare monitoring. Such systems could help monitor public heath during the COVID-19 crisis and future pandemics.
The Vital Intelligence Project is based on technology developed by the Australian Department of Defence Science and Technology Group (DST) and the University of South Australia. The project uses new and existing camera networks, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPASes).
The project intends to immediately commercialize a platform to detect healthcare metrics including temperatures and heart and respiratory rates. It would be able to detect infectious conditions in crowds, workforces, airlines, and potential at-risk groups such as seniors in care facilities. It would also work in convention centers, border crossings, or critical infrastructure facilities.
Draganfly to quickly launch epidemic-tracking system
Draganfly, which said it was chosen yesterday as as the exclusive integration partner, has executed a binding agreement with an initial budget of up to $1.5 million. The company plans to use its expertise with sensor and software engineering, integration, and distribution, as well as its secure supply chain, for immediate commercialization and deployment of the technology.
“The university and [DST] supported my team’s efforts to develop automation for use in epidemics and disasters,” stated Dr. Javaan Chahl, defence science and technology chair at the University of South Australia. “We had imagined the technology being used in a future relief expedition to some far-away place. Now, shockingly, we see a need for its use in our everyday lives immediately, to help save lives in the biggest health catastrophe the world has experienced in the past 100 years. Draganfly’s industrial know-how is quickly helping us ensure our research can save lives.”
“Draganfly has been selected because of its proven leadership in an industry so important to public safety at such a critical time,” said Cameron Chell, CEO of Draganfly. “We look forward to working with global agencies and industry to rapidly deploy this important technology.”
“Draganfly is honored to work on such an important project given the current pandemic facing the world with COVID-19,” said Andy Card, director of Draganfly and former secretary of transportation and White House chief of staff. “Health and respiratory monitoring will be vital for not only detection, but also utilizing the data to understand health trends. As we move forward, drones and autonomous technology doing detection will be an important part of ensuring public safety,”
“With fighting epidemics rising as a global priority, new versatile technologies, such as humanitarian mission UAVs, are immediately needed to detect and track outbreaks so that critical interventions can be deployed sooner and with greater effectiveness,” said Dr. Jack Chow, advisor to the Vital Intelligence Project and the former first assistant director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) on infectious diseases.