U.S. air medical service provider, Air Methods, has developed a drone-based medical delivery network designed to help improve healthcare access and minimize supply challenges across the U.S.
As part of a new strategic partnership between Air Methods and Wingcopter, the Spright solution will deploy a fleet of Wingcopter’s flagship delivery drone, the Wingcopter 198, to deliver urgently needed medial supplies for healthcare providers and the communities they serve.
“The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated some of the real challenges in our health care system creating an opportunity to find better solutions to extend access to healthcare, especially in rural America,” said JaeLynn Williams, CEO of Air Methods.
“That is why we are doing what Air Methods does best, taking to the skies, using the latest in technology and drone innovation, delivering hope and facilitating healing with speed and efficiency that was previously unimaginable. We see Spright serving a vastly underserved market and playing a huge role in a future full of better outcomes for everyone.”
The Wingcopter 198 is a state-of-the-art autonomous electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) delivery drone that enables safe, reliable, fast, and bi-directional medical deliveries. It is designed to provide maximum flexibility and ease of use in operations. The company’s patented tilt-rotor technology allows for VTOL while also enabling efficient forward flight over long ranges, thus eliminating the need for additional infrastructure. The drone has a range of up to 68 miles (110 kilometers), a maximum speed of 90 mph (145 kilometers per hour) and can carry a payload of up to 13 lbs. (6 kg).
The team at Wingcopter has the proven technology and production capacity to enable Spright to create a nationwide network, built around Air Methods’ existing infrastructure of more than 300 bases, serving hundreds of hospitals across 48 states in predominantly rural areas.
“We are thrilled to team up with Air Methods to create a life-saving drone delivery network throughout the United States,” said Tom Plümmer, Co-Founder and CEO of Wingcopter. “Our technology has been used globally to effectively deliver medical supplies. Our vision to ‘save and improve lives’ resonates perfectly with Air Methods’ legacy of providing lifesaving care, combined with Spright’s ambition to improve the quality of healthcare across the U.S. by deploying fleets of Wingcopters, and we are excited about scaling this together.”
Spright will begin this endeavor later this year, by partnering with Hutchinson Regional Medical System in Hutchinson, Kan. for the launch of an initial pilot project using Wingcopter’s delivery drones.