Emergency Medical Delivery Systems (EMeDS) Integrating Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

This exciting workshop will be held March 5-8, 2018 at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, India.

Background and Objectives

Emergency medical situations can occur at any time, and often do occur on the road in congested urban areas, or in rural areas which may not have easy and fast access to emergency medical personnel. This is especially true in urban areas in rapidly developing India due to current traffic conditions. The recent advancements in geospatial localization and optimization have been quite dramatic and drone technology is being evaluated by technology companies for delivery of commercial goods. That is indeed interesting and could be lucrative for the companies; however, application of such technology for alleviating and responding to road traffic congestion and accidents and medical response to rural or congested urban situations could be much more impactful and result in tremendous savings of human lives and morbidity. Another important and potential application of drone technology is transportation of vital organs, whose timely delivery to hospitals (where it is required) is prevented by heavy traffic in metro cities. When implemented, such a system could be transformative changing the emergency medical landscape in India forever and saving thousands of lives.

To address this challenge, we propose a workshop to bring together a highly interdisciplinary team of experts from USA and India. Expertise areas to be represented include systems engineering and optimization, unmanned aerial technology (and various sub-disciplines such as navigation, control, aerodynamics, etc.), emergency and critical care medicine, major Indian Emergency Response Systems, and the rural health mission and ministry of health in India.

Design Division, Aeronautical Society of India and VCADS, Villanova University, USA are the coordinating partners of this joint workshop and aim to bring together specific interest groups from academic, private and government institutions, both in India and the US.

As the first priority, the outcome of the workshop will be to obtain clarity on the specific R&D on Emergency Medical Delivery system integrating UAVs (EMeDS) that needs to be done with short and long term goals and metrics for success. A secondary objective will be to form interdisciplinary working groups to follow upon EMeDS platform/process design and development activities in India and connect these efforts with similar groups and entities in USA through future joint collaborations.


Participation in the workshop is by invitation. Travel support for invited speakers and local accommodation for speakers and students/researchers participating in the group meetings will be covered through funding support from IUSSTF. Limited industry participation will be arranged depending on availability of funding support.

Workshop Organizing Committee
  •  C. 'Nat' Nataraj, PhD (US Coordinator), Villanova University, Villanova, USA
  •  Kota Harinarayana, PhD (Indian Coordinator), Aeronautical Society of India, Bengaluru, India
  •  Vinay Nadkarni, MD, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, USA
  •  Upendranath Vanam, PhD, National Aerospace Laboratories, Bengaluru, India
  •  B. Gurumoorthy, PhD, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India
  •  Ramana Rao, MD, GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute, Hyderabad, India
  •  K. Ramachandra, PhD, Director, National Design & Research Forum, India
  •  Rakesh Kumar, Treasurer, Design Division, Aeronautical Society of India
Contact Information

Workshop related e-mails should be sent to emeds.workshop@gmail.com with a copy to either of the coordinators (Dr. Nataraj or Dr. Kota). Further details and updates will be posted on the workshop website, i.e., this page.


We deeply appreciate the financial support from Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF).

 Invited Speakers
  •  Dr. Kota Harinarayana

    Dr. Kota Harinayarana is Chairman of the Design Division at the Aeronautical Society of India in Bengaluru. The title of his talk will be: "Development of drone technologies in India, Issues and challenges".

  •  Dr. C. Nataraj

    Dr. Nataraj is the Moritz Professor at Villanova University where he heads the Villanova Center for Analytics of Dynamic Systems (VCADS). He will present an overview of control and autonomy of unmanned systems and outline the state of the art and needed research.

  •  Dr. Vinay Nadkarni

    Dr. Nadkarni is the Endowed Chair Professor in the Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Dr. Nadkarni will focus on concepts of why it is important to integrate unmanned aerial vehicles with emergency medical systems in India and make the case for organ transplantation, road traffic accidents, and automated external defibrillators.

  •  Dr. G. V. Ramana Rao

    Dr. Ramana Rao heads the GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute in Hyderabad, India. He will describe his experience in handling medical emergencies in India and help lead a discussion to determine the way forward.

  •  Dr. Flaura Winston

    Dr. Winston is the Director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She will present a comprehensive approach to Injury Prediction, Prevention, Response, and Program Evaluation for Road Traffic Accidents.

  •  Dr. Brendan Carr

    Dr. Carr is the Director of the Emergency Care Coordination Center for the United States. He is also with the Department of Emergency Medicine at Jefferson University Hospital. He will discuss the development and assessment of trauma and cardiac arrest resuscitation programs and centers in the USA and India.

  •  Dr. Jose Maria E. Ferrer

    Dr. Ferrer is the Director for International Health for the American Heart Association. He will be discussing the AHA's international programs and will focus on resuscitation in particular.

  •  Dr. Eswaran Subrahmanian

    Dr. Subrahmanian is a Research Professor with the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems at Carnegie Mellon University. He will discuss the requirements of a medical drone for transportation of critical medicines/ organs in the urban environment in India and outline his work with an active container for organ transport.

  •  Dr. Matthew Maltese

    Dr. Maltese is the Director of Biomechanics Research in the Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and is the executive director of the Philadelphia Paediatric Medical Device Consortium.

  •  Dr. Steven Brooks

    Dr. Brooks is a Clinician-Scientist and Emergency Physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Queen’s University and the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of the Keenan Research Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. He will discuss his experience with drone delivery in the UK.

  •  Dr. B. Gurumoorthy

    Dr. Gurumoorthy is Professor and CEO of SID at the Indian Institute of Science. He will give an overview of innovation and entrepreneurship in medical technology from the perspective of IISc.

  •  Dr. T. C. Y. Chan

    Dr. Chan is Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. He will discuss geospatial and systems optimization for delivery of Emergency Medical Systems in Dhaka.

  •  Dr. K. Ramachandra

    Dr. Ramachandra is Director of the National Design & Research Forum in Bengaluru. He will discuss passive and active container system requirements and challenges of development and design.