Wing To Roll Out Drone Delivery For Medical Supplies In Europe

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The company plans to commence drone delivery of medical goods to hospitals and patients in Ireland in a partnership with Apian, a drone start-up. Wing and Apian plan to begin working with hospitals and other care providers in Dublin with a view to expanding that service to the UK as well.

Wing’s autonomous drones will deliver medicines, laboratory samples, and medical supplies in parts of South Dublin and its suburbs. Apian, Wing’s partner in the initiative, is a British drone company, specializing in medical deliveries.

“This efficient network, leveraging Wing’s aircraft and automation, will serve to improve the patient experience while reducing traffic congestion and emissions in the community. We look forward to engaging with the local community and stakeholders as we develop the operations and begin flights,” Shannon Nash, chief financial officer, said.

The initiative marks an expansion of Wing’s operations in Europe. Late last year Wing began testing commercial drone delivery in a suburb north of Dublin following operations in Finland where it first tested its drones in Europe.

In Ireland, Wing competes with Irish start-up Manna, which has been operating in selected areas of the capital city in recent years.

“Together, Wing and Apian believe that healthcare should benefit from on-demand delivery much like consumers do in their personal lives,” Nash said.
Nash added that medical drone delivery could provide the same convenience for patients that consumers expect from commercial delivery services.
Drone delivery “can provide a faster, more reliable, lower-cost solution than ground-based alternatives,” she said.

“We aim to address speed, inefficiencies, and also environmental challenges by reducing vehicles on the road. Wing’s operations require very little infrastructure and can be set up in a range of spaces, making them suitable for a wide variety of healthcare facilities.”

Wing has gradually expanded its presence in Europe by working within a regulatory framework by the EU. Outside of that EU framework, Wing plans to expand its medical delivery service with Apian in the latter’s home market of the UK. Apian already has a partnership with the NHS, the UK’s health service, with trials ongoing in a number of locations.