Time and resource savings
The mission was executed using a Wingcopter 198 aircraft, which can carry up to 9 pounds of lab samples, whole blood, medications, or other medical supplies. With the ability to travel up to 60 miles at speeds up to 60 miles per hour, the drone drastically reduces the time it typically takes to transport critical healthcare supplies and patient specimens. For example, the 23-minute test flight in Kansas would have taken 45 minutes by car.
This is significant in rural communities like Lyons that experience limited healthcare access and must rely on couriers and even medical staff to pick up and deliver critical supplies. Numerous challenges including weather, staffing shortages, and road construction can slow that effort even more, but create opportunities for innovation – such as implementing drone delivery.