Wingcopter drone supply in Africa

An aerial view of the Maasai Mara in Kenya. The picture was taken from a hot air balloon.

Wingcopter Partners with Siemens Healthlineers for Drone Delivery of Lab Samples in Africa

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

Wingcopter GmbH has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Siemens Healthineers Middle East, Southern & Eastern Africa to develop and implement an integrated drone delivery solution for the transportation of laboratory diagnostics materials and medical supplies in Africa. Leveraging both Siemens Healthineers’ Laboratory Diagnostics testing capabilities and Wingcopter’s drone delivery services will result in enhanced diagnostics and quicker treatment. The solution will employ both companies’ most recent digital technology, including highly automated drone delivery as well as Laboratory Information Systems capable of accurately tracking and reporting results directly to patients.

“At Siemens Healthineers, we are committed to providing access to care for everyone,” said Ole Maloy, Managing Director of Siemens Healthineers Middle East, Southern & Eastern Africa. “Our partnership with Wingcopter will look to bridge the existing gaps in healthcare infrastructure, providing equitable and affordable access to diagnostic testing and medical supplies.”

Using Wingcopter’s delivery drones alongside Siemens Healthineers’ laboratory diagnostics facilities will enable rapid automated 2-way delivery of samples, medicine and other medical products. Wingcopter will pilot the drones, covering a range of 75 kilometers while maintaining the cold chain at all times. These drone delivery networks will enable the centralization of sample testing and medical consumables distribution, leading to greater access to diagnosis, rapid turnaround time, improved efficiency and lower costs.

“We are convinced that we have found the perfect partner for our bold ambitions to improve and save the lives of millions of people on the African continent and beyond,” said Wingcopter GmbH CEO and co-founder Tom Plümmer. “Partnering with Siemens Healthineers will bring us a big step closer to the goal we are working tirelessly towards: to make a real social impact worldwide for those who need it most through fast, reliable and sustainable drone delivery networks in the sky.”

According to a report from the World Bank and WHO, approximately half of the world’s population lacks access to crucial health services such as timely diagnostic services. In addition to increasing accessibility for diagnostic testing, the drone delivery solution will have a positive impact on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including access to health, potential reductions in carbon footprint and the risk of road accidents, and capacity building on drone operations. Wingcopter intends to create jobs within the drone industry by training local young people, an approach it previously utilized in Malawi where its current operations are run by an all-local, majority-female crew.

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Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.

TWITTER: @spaldingbarker

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