MIAMI, USA – 2020 will go down in history as the year of the coronavirus pandemic and the need for a treatment against the disease has become the engine for the development of several possible vaccines that could be approved in the coming weeks .
Once the vaccines are approved, the dilemma will arise of how to get them to remote places, with difficult access; places without roads, highways or runways. The pandemic and the need to distribute vaccines could then become, in turn, the engine that drives the delivery of products through unmanned aircraft; that is, drones.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) claims that drug delivery using drones has become an important method in developing countries. According to this organization, 18 countries have launched projects to use this type of aircraft for medical purposes.
“Some of them have done it as part of experiments and tests, while others maintain regular drone delivery services,” says a recent Unicef report. “Three countries in the sub-Saharan region of Africa, Rwanda, Ghana and Malawi reported the use of drones for the regular shipment of medical materials, supplies for the care of COVID-19 and medical samples since the beginning of the pandemic.”
The organization says drones in Ghana have expedited the collection and delivery of coronavirus tests from remote areas.
A San Francisco company, Volansi Inc. has launched its own drone medical product delivery project in North Carolina. In the first stage of the project, this company, in collaboration with the pharmaceutical Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, is moving drugs from its factory in Wilson, North Carolina, to a clinic in that same state.
According to Volansi, this will be “the first of three phases to learn more about the role that drone technology could have in improving access to health services.” The company said in a press release that with 1.4 million residents in 29 different counties, the vast rural region of North Carolina can present a challenge for access to health care.
He added that the project has already resulted in the first drone deliveries of temperature-controlled drugs within the United States. “We have seen how the world’s supply chains have been stressed like never before due to the impact of the coronavirus,” said Hannan Parvizian, founder of Volansi.
“Now there is an accelerating need for rapid advancements in supply chain technology, especially in healthcare. Drone deliveries are a solution to delivering critical medical supplies where they are needed and when they are most needed. ”
The company is carrying out its project in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the North Carolina Department of Transportation to ensure that its deliveries are made safely and in accordance with state regulations. and federal.