Drones used to deliver Covid tests and samples to Scotland's rural communities

  • Video report by ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith

Drones are being used to deliver coronavirus tests and collect blood samples to and from Scotland's most rural and isolated communities.

The drones, which are capable of an altitude of up to 5,000 feet and speeds of almost 100mph, are massively reducing the amount of time taken to deliver medical samples and tests to the Hebrides islands.

Medical samples that would normally be carried by ferries could take up to two days to arrive at laboratories. But with drones, it can take just 30 minutes.

A test result can then be turned around within two hours.

Tests arrive in labs so quickly now that patients from the highlands and islands sometimes get results more efficiently than they would if they lived in the city.

And what's more, there is no pilot for the drones. The drones arrive on a visual landing target, a kind of QR code that a special camera on the drone identifies and then automatically lands on.