Volansi, vendor of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), middle-mile drone delivery services, has begun a commercial healthcare drone delivery project in North Carolina. In collaboration with Merck Volansi is piloting the delivery of cold chain medicines from Merck’s Wilson, N.C. manufacturing site to Vidant Healthplex-Wilson, a Vidant Health clinic, as the first of three phases in a project to learn about drone technology’s role and ability to improve access to healthcare.
The pandemic has seen the country pulling together, with organisations across the space sector stepping forward to help. Apian, part of the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme, aims to establish a network of secure air corridors for electric drones to navigate via satellite-enabled GPS. Each drone will be able to carry COVID-19 samples, test-kits and PPE. This will avoid courier call-out waiting times, free-up NHS staff, reduce unnecessary physical contact and minimise the risk of secondary transmission of the virus.