Siemens Healthineers Middle East, Southern & Eastern Africa and Wingcopter GmbH have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop and roll-out an integrated drone delivery solution to transport various laboratory diagnostics materials as well as other medical supplies in Africa
The solution will adopt the latest in digital technology provided by Siemens Healthineers and Wingcopter from highly automated drone delivery to laboratory information systems, which will accurately track and report results directly to the patients.
Ole Maloy, managing director of Siemens Healthineers Middle East, Southern & Eastern Africa, commented, “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.”
Wingcopter’s delivery drones, interconnected with Siemens Healthineers’ laboratory diagnostics facilities, will allow for quick and automated two-way delivery of samples, medicine and other medical products. The battery-powered drones will be operated by Wingcopter, covering a range of 75 km while maintaining the cold chain at all times. These sustainable and efficient drone delivery networks will allow for the centralisation of sample testing and medical consumables distribution, resulting in improved access to diagnosis, faster turnaround time, increased efficiency and reduction in costs.
Tom Plümmer, CEO and co-founder of Wingcopter GmbH, remarked, “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. 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.”
Wingcopter intends to train and upskill local young people, creating jobs and perspectives in the fast-growing drone industry. In doing so, Wingcopter is following the company’s approach in Malawi, where operations are run by an all-local, majority-female crew.