Air Methods launches a new drone solution
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Air Methods, the country’s leading airline medical services provider, announced the launch of Spright, a new drone solution designed to help improve access to healthcare and minimize supply issues. Working with Wingcopter, one of Germany’s leading drone manufacturers, Spright is creating a healthcare-specific, drone-based delivery network across the United States.
As a result of the nation’s efforts to reduce healthcare costs, Americans are affected by a lack of immediate or timely access to healthcare resources. When these shortages impact the availability of blood products, drugs, diagnostics or small medical devices, the consequences can be dire. The solution is a flexible and rapid distribution network designed with 21st century technology.
This new drone delivery network will improve access to the medical supplies urgently needed by healthcare providers and the communities they serve. Air Methods will make this possible by deploying fleets of Wingcopter’s new flagship delivery drone, the Wingcopter 198. The Wingcopter team has the proven technology and production capacity to enable Spright to create a nationwide network, built around the world. Air Methods’ existing infrastructure of more than 300 bases, serving hundreds of hospitals, in 48 states, mostly in rural areas.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated some of the real challenges of our healthcare system, creating an opportunity to find better solutions to expand access to healthcare, especially in rural America,” said JaeLynn Williams, CEO of Air Methods. “That’s why we’re doing what Air Methods does best, take flight, use the latest drone technologies and innovations, bring hope and facilitate healing with speed and efficiency that were previously unimaginable. We see Spright serving a vastly underserved market and playing a huge role in a future full of better outcomes for everyone. “
This fall, Spright will kick off that venture by partnering with Hutchinson Regional Medical System in Hutchinson, Kansas to launch a first pilot project using Wingcopter’s delivery drones. This project will provide a proof of concept of how this new and exciting endeavor can bring the needed relief and certainty to medical resources in rural America. Spright will provide additional details on this initial project closer to deployment.
The Wingcopter 198 is a state-of-the-art autonomous eVTOL delivery drone that enables safe, reliable, fast and two-way medical deliveries. It is designed to provide maximum flexibility and ease of use in operations. The company’s patented tilt rotor technology enables vertical take-off and landing, while allowing efficient forward flight over long distances, eliminating the need for additional infrastructure. The drone has a range of up to 68 miles (110 kilometers), a top speed of 90 mph (145 kilometers per hour), and can carry a payload of up to 13 pounds. (6kg). Therefore, the Wingcopter 198 is a great choice to make Spright’s vision a reality.
“We are delighted to partner with Air Methods to create a lifesaving drone delivery network in the United States,” said Tom Plümmer, co-founder and CEO of Wingcopter. “Our technology has been used around the world to efficiently deliver medical supplies, for example insulin in Ireland, children’s vaccines in Vanuatu, emergency medicine in Malawi and, most recently, blood samples in Germany. Our vision of “saving and improving lives” resonates perfectly with Air Methods’ legacy of providing life-saving care, combined with Spright’s ambition to improve the quality of healthcare in the United States by deploying fleets of Wingcopters, and we’re excited to evolve that together. “
Today, Air Methods is the largest and most experienced FAA Part 135 operator in the country. Combining this operational experience with Wingcopter’s cutting-edge delivery drone technology gives Spright a unique capability and resources to dramatically improve medical supply chains.
This press release was prepared and distributed by Air Methods.